Dual-targeting therapeutics by coadministration of allosteric and orthosteric drugs is drawing increased attention as a revolutionary strategy for overcoming the drug-resistance problems. It was further observed that the occupation of orthosteric sites by therapeutics agents has the potential to enhance allosteric ligand binding, which leads to improved potency of allosteric drugs. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), as one of the most critical anti-cancer targets belonging to the receptor tyrosine kinase family, represents a quintessential example. It was revealed that osimertinib, an ATP-competitive covalent EGFR inhibitor, remarkably enhanced the affinity of a recently developed allosteric inhibitor JBJ-04-125-02 for EGFRL858R/T790M. Here, we utilized extensive large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and the reversed allosteric communication to untangle the detailed molecular underpinning, in which occupation of osimertinib at the orthosteric site altered the overall conformational ensemble of EGFR mutant and reshaped the allosteric site via long-distance signaling. A unique intermediate state resembling the active conformation was identified, which was further stabilized by osimertinib loading. Based on the allosteric communication pathway, we predicted a novel allosteric site positioned around K867, E868, H893, and K960 within the intermediate state. Its correlation with the orthosteric site was validated by both structural and energetic analysis, and its low sequence conservation indicated the potential for selective targeting across the human kinome. Together, these findings not only provided a mechanistic basis for future clinical application of the dual-targeting therapeutics, but also explored an innovative perception of allosteric inhibition of tyrosine kinase signaling.
RAS, a member of the small GTPase family, functions as a binary switch by shifting between inactive GDP-loaded and active GTP-loaded state. RAS gain-of-function mutations are one of the leading causes in human oncogenesis, accounting for ∼19% of the global cancer burden. As a well-recognized target in malignancy, RAS has been intensively studied in the past decades. Despite the sustained efforts, many failures occurred in the earlier exploration and resulted in an ‘undruggable’ feature of RAS proteins. Phosphorylation at several residues has been recently determined as regulators for wild-type and mutated RAS proteins. Therefore, the development of RAS inhibitors directly targeting the RAS mutants or towards upstream regulatory kinases supplies a novel direction for tackling the anti-RAS difficulties. A better understanding of RAS phosphorylation can contribute to future therapeutic strategies. In this review, we comprehensively summarized the current advances in RAS phosphorylation and provided mechanistic insights into the signaling transduction of associated pathways. Importantly, the preclinical and clinical success in developing anti-RAS drugs targeting the upstream kinases and potential directions of harnessing allostery to target RAS phosphorylation sites were also discussed.
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