Discovery of a selective TC-PTP degrader for cancer immunotherapy

Jinmin Miao, Jiajun Dong, Yiming Miao, Yunpeng Bai, Zihan Qu, Brenson A. Jassim, Bo Huang, Quyen Nguyen, Yuan Ma, Allison A. Murray, Jinyue Li, Philip S. Low, Zhong Yin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP), encoded by PTPN2, has emerged as a promising target for cancer immunotherapy. TC-PTP deletion in B16 melanoma cells promotes tumor cell antigen presentation, while loss of TC-PTP in T-cells enhances T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling and stimulates cell proliferation and activation. Therefore, there is keen interest in developing TC-PTP inhibitors as novel immunotherapeutic agents. Through rational design and systematic screening, we discovered the first highly potent and selective TC-PTP PROTAC degrader, TP1L, which induces degradation of TC-PTP in multiple cell lines with low nanomolar DC50s and >110-fold selectivity over the closely related PTP1B. TP1L elevates the phosphorylation level of TC-PTP substrates including pSTAT1 and pJAK1, while pJAK2, the substrate of PTP1B, is unaffected by the TC-PTP degrader. TP1L also intensifies interferon gamma (IFN-γ) signaling and increases MHC-I expression. In Jurkat cells, TP1L activates TCR signaling through increased phosphorylation of LCK. Furthermore, in a CAR-T cell and KB tumor cell co-culture model, TP1L enhances CAR-T cell mediated tumor killing efficacy through activation of the CAR-T cells. Thus, we surmise that TP1L not only provides a unique opportunity for in-depth interrogation of TC-PTP biology but also serves as an excellent starting point for the development of novel immunotherapeutic agents targeting TC-PTP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12606-12614
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Science
Issue number44
StatePublished - Oct 24 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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