RAS is a membrane localized small GTPase frequently mutated in human cancer. As such, RAS has been a focal target for developing cancer therapeutics since its discovery nearly four decades ago. However, efforts to directly target RAS have been challenging due to the apparent lack of readily discernable deep pockets for binding small molecule inhibitors leading many to consider RAS as undruggable. An important milestone in direct RAS inhibition was achieved recently with the groundbreaking discovery of covalent inhibitors that target the mutant Cys residue in KRAS(G12C). Surprisingly, these G12C-reactive compounds only target mutant RAS in the GDP-bound state thereby locking it in the inactive conformation and blocking its ability to couple with downstream effector pathways. Building on this success, several groups have developed similar compounds that selectively target KRAS(G12C), with AMG510 and MRTX849 the first to advance to clinical trials. Both have shown early promising results. Though the success with these compounds has reignited the possibility of direct pharmacological inhibition of RAS, these covalent inhibitors are limited to treating KRAS(G12C) tumors which account for <15% of all RAS mutants in human tumors. Thus, there remains an unmet need to identify more broadly efficacious RAS inhibitors. Here, we will discuss the current state of RAS(G12C) inhibitors and the potential for inhibiting additional RAS mutants through targeting RAS dimerization which has emerged as an important step in the allosteric regulation of RAS function.

You do not currently have access to this content.