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Special Issue "Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecules".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Julie Tucker
E-Mail
Guest Editor
University of York, York, UK
Interests: myeloproliferative neoplasms; protein kinase structure; JAK2; MPL; structure-guided drug design; protein engineering
Dr. Mathew Martin
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
Interests: cell-cycle; structure activity relationship; fragment-based drug discovery; protein–protein interactions; cyclin-dependent kinases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce a call for submissions to a special issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences on the topic of Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery. More than fifty protein kinase inhibitors had been approved for clinical use to 11 December 2019, including seven in 2019, and many more were under clinical investigation (PKI-DB, Carles, et al. (2018) Molecules 23, 908). Lipid, nucleotide and small molecule kinases represent equally interesting, if less often exploited therapeutic targets. Recent technological advances ranging from the application of biophysical techniques to ever larger and more complex systems to novel cellular target engagement assays, alongside a more nuanced understanding of resistance mechanisms have enabled exciting progress in this area of drug discovery.

We encourage submission of both original research articles and topical reviews on all aspects of drug discovery targeting the phosphotransferase enzyme family. All submitted articles will undergo peer review.


Dr. Julie Tucker
Dr. Mathew Martin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • structure-guided drug discovery
  • kinase inhibitor
  • protein kinase
  • lipid kinase
  • nucleotide kinase
  • sugar kinase
  • fragment-based drug discovery
  • allosteric inhibitor
  • ATP-competitive inhibitor
  • anticancer
  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • anti-inflammatory

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Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Recent Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery Part I: The Editors’ Take
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(14), 7560; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22147560 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
This special issue on Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery provides a selection of research articles and topical reviews covering all aspects of drug discovery targeting the phosphotransferase enzyme family [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery)
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Research

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Article
Combinatorial Drug Treatments Reveal Promising Anticytomegaloviral Profiles for Clinically Relevant Pharmaceutical Kinase Inhibitors (PKIs)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 575; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22020575 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a human pathogenic herpesvirus associated with a variety of clinical symptoms. Current antiviral therapy is not always effective, so that improved drug classes and drug-targeting strategies are needed. Particularly host-directed antivirals, including pharmaceutical kinase inhibitors (PKIs), may help to [...] Read more.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a human pathogenic herpesvirus associated with a variety of clinical symptoms. Current antiviral therapy is not always effective, so that improved drug classes and drug-targeting strategies are needed. Particularly host-directed antivirals, including pharmaceutical kinase inhibitors (PKIs), may help to overcome problems of drug resistance. Here, we focused on utilizing a selection of clinically relevant PKIs and determined their anticytomegaloviral efficacies. Particularly, PKIs directed to host or viral cyclin-dependent kinases, i.e., abemaciclib, LDC4297 and maribavir, exerted promising profiles against human and murine cytomegaloviruses. The anti-HCMV in vitro activity of the approved anti-cancer drug abemaciclib was confirmed in vivo using our luciferase-based murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) animal model in immunocompetent mice. To assess drug combinations, we applied the Bliss independence checkerboard and Loewe additivity fixed-dose assays in parallel. Results revealed that (i) both affirmative approaches provided valuable information on anti-CMV drug efficacies and interactions, (ii) the analyzed combinations comprised additive, synergistic or antagonistic drug interactions consistent with the drugs’ antiviral mode-of-action, (iii) the selected PKIs, especially LDC4297, showed promising inhibitory profiles, not only against HCMV but also other α-, β- and γ-herpesviruses, and specifically, (iv) the combination treatment with LDC4297 and maribavir revealed a strong synergism against HCMV, which might open doors towards novel clinical options in the near future. Taken together, this study highlights the potential of therapeutic drug combinations of current developmental/preclinical PKIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery)
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Article
Rational Computational Design of Fourth-Generation EGFR Inhibitors to Combat Drug-Resistant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9323; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21239323 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Although the inhibitors of singly mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase are effective for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), their clinical efficacy has been limited due to the emergence of various double and triple EGFR mutants with drug resistance. [...] Read more.
Although the inhibitors of singly mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase are effective for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), their clinical efficacy has been limited due to the emergence of various double and triple EGFR mutants with drug resistance. It has thus become urgent to identify potent and selective inhibitors of triple mutant EGFRs resistant to first-, second-, and third-generation EGFR inhibitors. Herein, we report the discovery of potent and highly selective inhibitors of EGFR exon 19 p.E746_A750del/EGFR exon 20 p.T790M/EGFR exon 20 p.C797S (d746-750/T790M/C797S) mutant, which were derived via two-track virtual screening and de novo design. This two-track approach was performed so as to maximize and minimize the inhibitory activity against the triple mutant and the wild type, respectively. Extensive chemical modifications of the initial hit compounds led to the identification of several low-nanomolar inhibitors of the d746-750/T790M/C797S mutant. Among them, two compounds exhibited more than 104-fold selectivity in the inhibition of EGFRd746-750/T790M/C797S over the wild type. The formations of a hydrogen bond with the mutated residue Ser797 and the van der Waals contact with the mutated residue Met790 were found to be a common feature in the interactions between EGFRd746-750/T790M/C797S and the fourth-generation inhibitors. Such an exceptionally high selectivity could also be attributed to the formation of the hydrophobic contact with a Gly loop residue or the hydrogen bond with Asp855 in the activation loop. The discovery of the potent and selective EGFRd746-750/T790M/C797S inhibitors were actually made possible by virtue of the modified protein–ligand binding free energy function involving a new hydration free energy term with enhanced accuracy. The fourth-generation EGFR inhibitors found in this work are anticipated to serve as a new starting point for the discovery of anti-NSCLC medicines to overcome the problematic drug resistance. Full article
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Article
Discovery and Design of Novel Small Molecule GSK-3 Inhibitors Targeting the Substrate Binding Site
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8709; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21228709 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
The serine/threonine kinase, GSK-3, is a promising drug discovery target for treating multiple pathological disorders. Most GSK-3 inhibitors that were developed function as ATP competitive inhibitors, with typical limitations in specificity, safety and drug-induced resistance. In contrast, substrate competitive inhibitors (SCIs), are considered [...] Read more.
The serine/threonine kinase, GSK-3, is a promising drug discovery target for treating multiple pathological disorders. Most GSK-3 inhibitors that were developed function as ATP competitive inhibitors, with typical limitations in specificity, safety and drug-induced resistance. In contrast, substrate competitive inhibitors (SCIs), are considered highly selective, and more suitable for clinical practice. The development of SCIs has been largely neglected in the past because the ambiguous, undefined nature of the substrate-binding site makes them difficult to design. In this study, we used our previously described structural models of GSK-3 bound to SCI peptides, to design a pharmacophore model and to virtually screen the “drug-like” Zinc database (~6.3 million compounds). We identified leading hits that interact with critical binding elements in the GSK-3 substrate binding site and are chemically distinct from known GSK-3 inhibitors. Accordingly, novel GSK-3 SCI compounds were designed and synthesized with IC50 values of~1–4 μM. Biological activity of the SCI compound was confirmed in cells and in primary neurons that showed increased β-catenin levels and reduced tau phosphorylation in response to compound treatment. We have generated a new type of small molecule GSK-3 inhibitors and propose to use this strategy to further develop SCIs for other protein kinases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Kinase Drug Discovery)
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Article
Kinome Array Profiling of Patient-Derived Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Identifies Differentially Active Protein Tyrosine Kinases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21228679 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most difficult malignancies to treat. Minimal improvements in patient outcomes and persistently abysmal patient survival rates underscore the great need for new treatment strategies. Currently, there is intense interest in therapeutic strategies that target tyrosine protein kinases. [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most difficult malignancies to treat. Minimal improvements in patient outcomes and persistently abysmal patient survival rates underscore the great need for new treatment strategies. Currently, there is intense interest in therapeutic strategies that target tyrosine protein kinases. Here, we employed kinome arrays and bioinformatic pipelines capable of identifying differentially active protein tyrosine kinases in different patient-derived pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines and wild-type pancreatic tissue to investigate the unique kinomic networks of PDAC samples and posit novel target kinases for pancreatic cancer therapy. Consistent with previously described reports, the resultant peptide-based kinome array profiles identified increased protein tyrosine kinase activity in pancreatic cancer for the following kinases: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), fms related receptor tyrosine kinase 4/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (FLT4/VEGFR-3), insulin receptor (INSR), ephrin receptor A2 (EPHA2), platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA), SRC proto-oncogene kinase (SRC), and tyrosine kinase non receptor 2 (TNK2). Furthermore, this study identified increased activity for protein tyrosine kinases with limited prior evidence of differential activity in pancreatic cancer. These protein tyrosine kinases include B lymphoid kinase (BLK), Fyn-related kinase (FRK), Lck/Yes-related novel kinase (LYN), FYN proto-oncogene kinase (FYN), lymphocyte cell-specific kinase (LCK), tec protein kinase (TEC), hemopoietic cell kinase (HCK), ABL proto-oncogene 2 kinase (ABL2), discoidin domain receptor 1 kinase (DDR1), and ephrin receptor A8 kinase (EPHA8). Together, these results support the utility of peptide array kinomic analyses in the generation of potential candidate kinases for future pancreatic cancer therapeutic development. Full article
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Article
Discovery of 5-Phenoxy-2-aminopyridine Derivatives as Potent and Selective Irreversible Inhibitors of Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8006; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21218006 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
As a member of the tyrosine protein kinase Tec (TEC) family, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) is considered a promising therapeutic target due to its crucial roles in the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway. Although many types of BTK inhibitors have been reported, [...] Read more.
As a member of the tyrosine protein kinase Tec (TEC) family, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) is considered a promising therapeutic target due to its crucial roles in the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway. Although many types of BTK inhibitors have been reported, there is an unmet need to achieve selective BTK inhibitors to reduce side effects. To obtain BTK selectivity and efficacy, we designed a novel series of type II BTK inhibitors which can occupy the allosteric pocket induced by the DFG-out conformation and introduced an electrophilic warhead for targeting Cys481. In this article, we have described the structure–activity relationships (SARs) leading to a novel series of potent and selective piperazine and tetrahydroisoquinoline linked 5-phenoxy-2-aminopyridine irreversible inhibitors of BTK. Compound 18g showed good potency and selectivity, and its biological activity was evaluated in hematological tumor cell lines. The in vivo efficacy of 18g was also tested in a Raji xenograft mouse model, and it significantly reduced tumor size, with 46.8% inhibition compared with vehicle. Therefore, we have presented the novel, potent, and selective irreversible inhibitor 18g as a type II BTK inhibitor. Full article
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Article
Crystal Structure of the Kinase Domain of MerTK in Complex with AZD7762 Provides Clues for Structure-Based Drug Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 7878; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21217878 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
Aberrant tyrosine-protein kinase Mer (MerTK) expression triggers prosurvival signaling and contributes to cell survival, invasive motility, and chemoresistance in many kinds of cancers. In addition, recent reports suggested that MerTK could be a primary target for abnormal platelet aggregation. Consequently, MerTK inhibitors may [...] Read more.
Aberrant tyrosine-protein kinase Mer (MerTK) expression triggers prosurvival signaling and contributes to cell survival, invasive motility, and chemoresistance in many kinds of cancers. In addition, recent reports suggested that MerTK could be a primary target for abnormal platelet aggregation. Consequently, MerTK inhibitors may promote cancer cell death, sensitize cells to chemotherapy, and act as new antiplatelet agents. We screened an inhouse chemical library to discover novel small-molecule MerTK inhibitors, and identified AZD7762, which is known as a checkpoint-kinase (Chk) inhibitor. The inhibition of MerTK by AZD7762 was validated using an in vitro homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) assay and through monitoring the decrease in phosphorylated MerTK in two lung cancer cell lines. We also determined the crystal structure of the MerTK:AZD7762 complex and revealed the binding mode of AZD7762 to MerTK. Structural information from the MerTK:AZD7762 complex and its comparison with other MerTK:inhibitor structures gave us new insights for optimizing the development of inhibitors targeting MerTK. Full article
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Review

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Review
Thyroid Cancers: From Surgery to Current and Future Systemic Therapies through Their Molecular Identities
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 3117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22063117 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
Differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) are commonly and successfully treated with total thyroidectomy plus/minus radioiodine therapy (RAI). Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is only treated with surgery but only intrathyroidal tumors are cured. The worst prognosis is for anaplastic (ATC) and poorly differentiated thyroid cancer [...] Read more.
Differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) are commonly and successfully treated with total thyroidectomy plus/minus radioiodine therapy (RAI). Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is only treated with surgery but only intrathyroidal tumors are cured. The worst prognosis is for anaplastic (ATC) and poorly differentiated thyroid cancer (PDTC). Whenever a local or metastatic advanced disease is present, other treatments are required, varying from local to systemic therapies. In the last decade, the efficacy of the targeted therapies and, in particular, tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has been demonstrated. They can prolong the disease progression-free survival and represent the most important therapeutic option for the treatment of advanced and progressive thyroid cancer. Currently, lenvatinib and sorafenib are the approved drugs for the treatment of RAI-refractory DTC and PDTC while advanced MTC can be treated with either cabozantinib or vandetanib. Dabrafenib plus trametinib is the only approved treatment by FDA for BRAFV600E mutated ATC. A new generation of TKIs, specifically for single altered oncogenes, is under evaluation in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of the current and future treatments of thyroid cancer with regards to the advanced and progressive cases that require systemic therapies that are becoming more and more targeted on the molecular identity of the tumor. Full article
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Review
New Therapeutic Opportunities for the Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinomas: A Focus on Novel Driver Kinases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 2831; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22062831 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Squamous cell carcinomas of the lung, head and neck, esophagus, and cervix account for more than two million cases of cancer per year worldwide with very few targetable therapies available and minimal clinical improvement in the past three decades. Although these carcinomas are [...] Read more.
Squamous cell carcinomas of the lung, head and neck, esophagus, and cervix account for more than two million cases of cancer per year worldwide with very few targetable therapies available and minimal clinical improvement in the past three decades. Although these carcinomas are differentiated anatomically, their genetic landscape shares numerous common genetic alterations. Amplification of the third chromosome’s distal portion (3q) is a distinguishing genetic alteration in most of these carcinomas and leads to copy-number gain and amplification of numerous oncogenic proteins. This area of the chromosome harbors known oncogenes involved in squamous cell fate decisions and differentiation, including TP63, SOX2, ECT2, and PIK3CA. Furthermore, novel targetable oncogenic kinases within this amplicon include PRKCI, PAK2, MAP3K13, and TNIK. TCGA analysis of these genes identified amplification in more than 20% of clinical squamous cell carcinoma samples, correlating with a significant decrease in overall patient survival. Alteration of these genes frequently co-occurs and is dependent on 3q-chromosome amplification. The dependency of cancer cells on these amplified kinases provides a route toward personalized medicine in squamous cell carcinoma patients through development of small-molecules targeting these kinases. Full article
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Review
Drug Discovery in Liver Disease Using Kinome Profiling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2623; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052623 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 573
Abstract
The liver is one of the most important organs, playing critical roles in maintaining biochemical homeostasis. Accordingly, disease of the liver is often debilitating and responsible for untold human misery. As biochemical nexus, with kinases being master regulators of cellular biochemistry, targeting kinase [...] Read more.
The liver is one of the most important organs, playing critical roles in maintaining biochemical homeostasis. Accordingly, disease of the liver is often debilitating and responsible for untold human misery. As biochemical nexus, with kinases being master regulators of cellular biochemistry, targeting kinase enzymes is an obvious avenue for treating liver disease. Development of such therapy, however, is hampered by the technical difficulty of obtaining comprehensive insight into hepatic kinase activity, a problem further compounded by the often unique aspects of hepatic kinase activities, which makes extrapolations from other systems difficult. This consideration prompted us to review the current state of the art with respect to kinome profiling approaches towards the hepatic kinome. We observe that currently four different approaches are available, all showing significant promise. Hence we postulate that insight into the hepatic kinome will quickly increase, leading to rational kinase-targeted therapy for different liver diseases. Full article
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Review
Thromboembolic Adverse Drug Reactions in Janus Kinase (JAK) Inhibitors: Does the Inhibitor Specificity Play a Role?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2449; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052449 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
Recent advances in immunology enabled the characterization of several signal transmitting pathways responsible for proper cytokine and chemokine signaling. Among them, Janus kinases (JAKs) are essential components of receptor activation systems. The discovery of JAK kinases enabled the synthesis of JAK kinase inhibitors [...] Read more.
Recent advances in immunology enabled the characterization of several signal transmitting pathways responsible for proper cytokine and chemokine signaling. Among them, Janus kinases (JAKs) are essential components of receptor activation systems. The discovery of JAK kinases enabled the synthesis of JAK kinase inhibitors (JAKi or Jakinibs), which have proven to be efficacious in the treatment of hematologic malignancies and several rheumatological disorders and continue to be investigated in many clinical indications. Blocking multiple cytokines belonging to several cytokine families with a single small molecule may, however, create a potential risk for the patients. Recently, a higher risk of thromboembolic complications, namely, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, has been recognized as the main concern during treatment with Jakinibs. At present, it is not entirely clear whether this increased risk is related to direct cytokine blockade, the presence of concomitant diseases in treated patients or other unknown circumstances that work together to increase the risk of this side effect. In this review, we discuss data on the risk of thromboembolic side effects, with special emphasis on the mechanism that may be responsible for this increased risk. Many indirect data indicate that higher thromboembolic risk may be related to the specificity of JAK inhibitor action, such that preferentially blocking one signaling pathway upsets the balance between pro and anti-thrombotic activities. Full article
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Review
Novel Tyrosine Kinase Targets in Urothelial Carcinoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 747; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22020747 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Urothelial carcinoma represents one of the most prevalent types of cancer worldwide, and its incidence is expected to grow. Although the treatment of the advanced disease was based on chemotherapy for decades, the developments of different therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, antibody [...] Read more.
Urothelial carcinoma represents one of the most prevalent types of cancer worldwide, and its incidence is expected to grow. Although the treatment of the advanced disease was based on chemotherapy for decades, the developments of different therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, antibody drug conjugates and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, are revolutionizing the therapeutic landscape of this tumor. This development coincides with the increasing knowledge of the pathogenesis and genetic alterations in urothelial carcinoma, from the non-muscle invasive setting to the metastatic one. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of the different tyrosine kinase targets and their roles in the therapeutic scene of urothelial carcinoma. Full article
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Review
AMP-Activated Protein Kinase: Do We Need Activators or Inhibitors to Treat or Prevent Cancer?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 186; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22010186 - 27 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key regulator of cellular energy balance. In response to metabolic stress, it acts to redress energy imbalance through promotion of ATP-generating catabolic processes and inhibition of ATP-consuming processes, including cell growth and proliferation. While findings that AMPK [...] Read more.
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key regulator of cellular energy balance. In response to metabolic stress, it acts to redress energy imbalance through promotion of ATP-generating catabolic processes and inhibition of ATP-consuming processes, including cell growth and proliferation. While findings that AMPK was a downstream effector of the tumour suppressor LKB1 indicated that it might act to repress tumourigenesis, more recent evidence suggests that AMPK can either suppress or promote cancer, depending on the context. Prior to tumourigenesis AMPK may indeed restrain aberrant growth, but once a cancer has arisen, AMPK may instead support survival of the cancer cells by adjusting their rate of growth to match their energy supply, as well as promoting genome stability. The two isoforms of the AMPK catalytic subunit may have distinct functions in human cancers, with the AMPK-α1 gene often being amplified, while the AMPK-α2 gene is more often mutated. The prevalence of metabolic disorders, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, has led to the development of a wide range of AMPK-activating drugs. While these might be useful as preventative therapeutics in individuals predisposed to cancer, it seems more likely that AMPK inhibitors, whose development has lagged behind that of activators, would be efficacious for the treatment of pre-existing cancers. Full article
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Review
Potential for Protein Kinase Pharmacological Regulation in Flaviviridae Infections
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9524; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21249524 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 648
Abstract
Protein kinases (PKs) are enzymes that catalyze the transfer of the terminal phosphate group from ATP to a protein acceptor, mainly to serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues. PK catalyzed phosphorylation is critical to the regulation of cellular signaling pathways that affect crucial cell [...] Read more.
Protein kinases (PKs) are enzymes that catalyze the transfer of the terminal phosphate group from ATP to a protein acceptor, mainly to serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues. PK catalyzed phosphorylation is critical to the regulation of cellular signaling pathways that affect crucial cell processes, such as growth, differentiation, and metabolism. PKs represent attractive targets for drugs against a wide spectrum of diseases, including viral infections. Two different approaches are being applied in the search for antivirals: compounds directed against viral targets (direct-acting antivirals, DAAs), or against cellular components essential for the viral life cycle (host-directed antivirals, HDAs). One of the main drawbacks of DAAs is the rapid emergence of drug-resistant viruses. In contrast, HDAs present a higher barrier to resistance development. This work reviews the use of chemicals that target cellular PKs as HDAs against virus of the Flaviviridae family (Flavivirus and Hepacivirus), thus being potentially valuable therapeutic targets in the control of these pathogens. Full article
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Review
Emerging Kinase Therapeutic Targets in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma and Pancreatic Cancer Desmoplasia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8823; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21228823 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
Kinase drug discovery represents an active area of therapeutic research, with previous pharmaceutical success improving patient outcomes across a wide variety of human diseases. In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), innovative pharmaceutical strategies such as kinase targeting have been unable to appreciably increase patient [...] Read more.
Kinase drug discovery represents an active area of therapeutic research, with previous pharmaceutical success improving patient outcomes across a wide variety of human diseases. In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), innovative pharmaceutical strategies such as kinase targeting have been unable to appreciably increase patient survival. This may be due, in part, to unchecked desmoplastic reactions to pancreatic tumors. Desmoplastic stroma enhances tumor development and progression while simultaneously restricting drug delivery to the tumor cells it protects. Emerging evidence indicates that many of the pathologic fibrotic processes directly or indirectly supporting desmoplasia may be driven by targetable protein tyrosine kinases such as Fyn-related kinase (FRK); B lymphoid kinase (BLK); hemopoietic cell kinase (HCK); ABL proto-oncogene 2 kinase (ABL2); discoidin domain receptor 1 kinase (DDR1); Lck/Yes-related novel kinase (LYN); ephrin receptor A8 kinase (EPHA8); FYN proto-oncogene kinase (FYN); lymphocyte cell-specific kinase (LCK); tec protein kinase (TEC). Herein, we review literature related to these kinases and posit signaling networks, mechanisms, and biochemical relationships by which this group may contribute to PDAC tumor growth and desmoplasia. Full article
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Review
The Diverse Roles of TAO Kinases in Health and Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21207463 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 972
Abstract
Thousand and one kinases (TAOKs) are members of the MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) family. Three members of this subfamily, TAOK1, 2, and 3, have been identified in mammals. It has been shown that TAOK1, 2 and 3 regulate the p38 MAPK and [...] Read more.
Thousand and one kinases (TAOKs) are members of the MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) family. Three members of this subfamily, TAOK1, 2, and 3, have been identified in mammals. It has been shown that TAOK1, 2 and 3 regulate the p38 MAPK and Hippo signaling pathways, while TAOK 1 and 2 modulate the SAPK/JNK cascade. Furthermore, TAOKs are involved in additional interactions with other cellular proteins and all of these pathways modulate vital physiological and pathophysiological responses in cells and tissues. Dysregulation of TAOK-related pathways is implicated in the development of diseases including inflammatory and immune disorders, cancer and drug resistance, and autism and Alzheimer’s diseases. This review collates current knowledge concerning the roles of TAOKs in protein–protein interaction, signal transduction, physiological regulation, and pathogenesis and summarizes the recent development of TAOK-specific inhibitors that have the potential to ameliorate TAOKs’ effects in pathological situations. Full article
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