Androgen receptor-directed molecular conjugates for targeting prostate cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Due to its central role in the cellular biology of prostate cancer (PC), androgen receptor (AR) still remains an important therapeutic target for fighting this tumor. Several drugs targeting AR have been reported so far, and many new molecules are expected for the future. In spite of their antitumor efficacy, these drugs are not selective for malignant cells and are subjected to AR-mediated activation of drug resistance mechanisms that are responsible for several drawbacks, including systemic toxicity and disease recurrence and metastasis. Among the several strategies considered to overcome these drawbacks, very appealing appears the design of hybrid small-molecule conjugates targeting AR to drive drug action on receptor-positive PC cells. These compounds are designed around on an AR binder, which selectively engages AR with high potency, coupled with a moiety endowed with different pharmacological properties. In this review we focus on two classes of compounds: a) small-molecules and AR-ligand based conjugates that reduce AR expression, which allow down-regulation of AR levels by activating its proteasome-mediated degradation, and b) AR-ligand-based conjugates for targeting small-molecules, in which the AR binder tethers small-molecules, including conventional antitumor drugs (e.g., cisplatin, doxorubicin, histone deacetylase inhibitors, as well as photo-sensitizers) and selectively directs drug action toward receptor-positive PC cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number369
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Drug conjugates
  • Drug resistance
  • Prostate cancer
  • Proteolysis targeting chimeras
  • Selective androgen receptor degraders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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