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The Bruton non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinase (BTK), a deficiency of which leads to X-linked agammaglobulinemia, plays a central role in B cell antigen receptor signaling. Owing to the exclusivity of this enzyme in B cells, the acronym could represent B cell tyrosine kinase. BTK is activated by the Lyn and SYK protein kinases following activation of the B cell receptor. BTK in turn catalyzes the phosphorylation and activation of phospholipase Cγ2 leading to the downstream activation of the Ras/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway and the NF-κB pathways. Both pathways participate in the maturation of antibody-producing B cells. The BTK domains include a PH (pleckstrin homology) domain that interacts with membrane-associated phosphatidyl inositol trisphosphate, a TH (TEC homology) domain, which is followed by an SH3, SH2, and finally a protein kinase domain. Dysregulation of B cell receptor signaling occurs in several B cell neoplasms including mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Ibrutinib is FDA-approved as first-line or second line treatment for these diseases. The drug binds tightly in the ATP-binding pocket of BTK making salt bridges with residues within the hinge that connects the two lobes of the enzyme; then its unsaturated acrylamide group forms a covalent bond with BTK cysteine 481 to form an inactive adduct. In addition to the treatment of various B cell lymphomas, ibrutinib is under clinical trials for the treatment of numerous solid tumors owing to the role of tumor-promoting inflammation in the pathogenesis of neoplastic diseases. © 2016


Introduction: The critical role of the activity of the nucleophosmin- anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK) fusion protein in anaplastic large-cell lymphoma prompted drug discovery programs directed against ALK. Drug discovery efforts increased after finding that about 4% of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) possess an EML4-ALK fusion protein. Areas covered: The author provides a review of the development of crizotinib, an orally effective c-Met and ALK protein kinase inhibitor. The article highlights its beginning with the X-ray crystallographic structure of a lead compound (PHA-0665752) bound to the active site of the kinase domain of c-Met. Expert opinion: Studies of patients with EML4-ALK-positive NSCLC showed that crizotinib was clinically effective and led to its approval in August 2011. The use of lipophilic efficiency played a crucial role in the development of crizotinib from a lead c-Met inhibitor. The use of X-ray crystal structures from lead compounds, bound to their targets, is increasing in the drug discovery process owing to its effectiveness. That the drug also inhibits ALK and ALK-fusion proteins was serendipitous, however. The discovery of the EML4-ALK fusion protein in some NSCLC patients has led to the testing and rapid approval of the compound. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.


Roskoski Jr. R.,Blue Ridge
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2012

ERK1 and ERK2 are related protein-serine/threonine kinases that participate in the Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK signal transduction cascade. This cascade participates in the regulation of a large variety of processes including cell adhesion, cell cycle progression, cell migration, cell survival, differentiation, metabolism, proliferation, and transcription. MEK1/2 catalyze the phosphorylation of human ERK1/2 at Tyr204/187 and then Thr202/185. The phosphorylation of both tyrosine and threonine is required for enzyme activation. Whereas the Raf kinase and MEK families have narrow substrate specificity, ERK1/2 catalyze the phosphorylation of hundreds of cytoplasmic and nuclear substrates including regulatory molecules and transcription factors. ERK1/2 are proline-directed kinases that preferentially catalyze the phosphorylation of substrates containing a Pro-Xxx-Ser/Thr-Pro sequence. Besides this primary structure requirement, many ERK1/2 substrates possess a D-docking site, an F-docking site, or both. A variety of scaffold proteins including KSR1/2, IQGAP1, MP1, β-Arrestin1/2 participate in the regulation of the ERK1/2 MAP kinase cascade. The regulatory dephosphorylation of ERK1/2 is mediated by protein-tyrosine specific phosphatases, protein-serine/threonine phosphatases, and dual specificity phosphatases. The combination of kinases and phosphatases make the overall process reversible. The ERK1/2 catalyzed phosphorylation of nuclear transcription factors including those of Ets, Elk, and c-Fos represents an important function and requires the translocation of ERK1/2 into the nucleus by active and passive processes involving the nuclear pore. These transcription factors participate in the immediate early gene response. The activity of the Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK cascade is increased in about one-third of all human cancers, and inhibition of components of this cascade by targeted inhibitors represents an important anti-tumor strategy. Thus far, however, only inhibition of mutant B-Raf (Val600Glu) has been found to be therapeutically efficacious. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


The Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK (Map kinase) cellular pathway is a highly conserved eukaryotic signaling module that transduces extracellular signals from growth factors and cytokines into intracellular regulatory events that are involved in cell growth and proliferation or the contrary pathway of cell differentiation. Dysregulation of this pathway occurs in more than one-third of all malignancies, a process that has fostered the development of targeted Map kinase pathway inhibitors. Cutaneous melanomas, which arise from skin melanocytes, are the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Mutations that activate the Map kinase pathway occur in more than 90% of these melanomas. This has led to the development of the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib or vemurafenib and cobimetanib for the treatment of BRAF V600E mutant melanomas. Dabrafenib and vemurafenib target V600E/K BRAF mutants while trametinib and cobimetanib target MEK1/2. The latter two agents bind to MEK1/2 at a site that is adjacent to, but separate from, the ATP-binding site and are therefore classified as type III allosteric protein kinase inhibitors. These agents form a hydrogen bond with a conserved β3-lysine and they make numerous hydrophobic contacts with residues within the αC-helix, the β5 strand, and within the activation segment, regions of the protein kinase domain that exhibit greater diversity than those found within the ATP-binding site. One advantage of such allosteric inhibitors is that they do not have to compete with millimolar concentrations of cellular ATP, which most FDA-approved small molecule competitive inhibitors such as imatinib must do. Owing to the wide spread activation of this pathway in numerous neoplasms, trametinib and cobimetinib are being studied in combination with other targeted and cytotoxic drugs in a variety of clinical situations. Except for BRAF and NRAS mutations, there are no other biomarkers correlated with treatment responses following MEK1/2 inhibition and the discovery of such biomarkers would represent an important therapeutic breakthrough. © 2016


Roskoski R.,Blue Ridge
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2016

The Janus kinase (JAK) family of non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinases consists of JAK1, JAK2, JAK3, and TYK2 (tyrosine kinase-2). Each of these proteins contains a JAK homology pseudokinase (JH2) domain that regulates the adjacent protein kinase domain (JH1). JAK1/2 and TYK2 are ubiquitously expressed whereas JAK3 is found predominantly in hematopoietic cells. The Janus kinase family is regulated by numerous cytokines including interleukins, interferons, and hormones such as erythropoietin, thrombopoietin, and growth hormone. Ligand binding to cytokine and hormone receptors leads to the activation of associated Janus kinases, which then mediate the phosphorylation of the receptors. The SH2 domain of STATs (signal transducers and activators of transcription) binds to the receptor phosphotyrosines thereby promoting STAT phosphorylation by the Janus kinases and consequent activation. STAT dimers are translocated to the nucleus where they participate in the regulation of the expression of thousands of proteins. JAK-STAT dysregulation results in autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn disease. JAK-STAT dysregulation also plays a role in the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and other myeloproliferative illnesses. An activating JAK2 V617F mutation occurs in 95% of people with polycythemia vera and in a lower percentage of people with other neoplasms. JAK1/3 signaling participates in the pathogenesis of inflammatory afflictions while JAK1/2 signaling participates in the development of several malignancies including leukemias and lymphomas as well as myeloproliferative neoplasms. Tofacitinib is a pan-JAK inhibitor that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ruxolitinib is a JAK1/2 inhibitor that is approved for the treatment of polycythemia vera and myelofibrosis. © 2016


Because dysregulation and mutations of protein kinases play causal roles in human disease, this family of enzymes has become one of the most important drug targets over the past two decades. The X-ray crystal structures of 21 of the 27 FDA-approved small molecule inhibitors bound to their target protein kinases are depicted in this paper. The structure of the enzyme-bound antagonist complex is used in the classification of these inhibitors. Type I inhibitors bind to the active protein kinase conformation (DFG-Asp in, αC-helix in). Type I inhibitors bind to a DFG-Asp in inactive conformation while Type II inhibitors bind to a DFG-Asp out inactive conformation. Type I, I, and type II inhibitors occupy part of the adenine binding pocket and form hydrogen bonds with the hinge region connecting the small and large lobes of the enzyme. Type III inhibitors bind next to the ATP-binding pocket and type IV inhibitors do not bind to the ATP or peptide substrate binding sites. Type III and IV inhibitors are allosteric in nature. Type V inhibitors bind to two different regions of the protein kinase domain and are therefore bivalent inhibitors. The type I-V inhibitors are reversible. In contrast, type VI inhibitors bind covalently to their target enzyme. Type I, I, and II inhibitors are divided into A and B subtypes. The type A inhibitors bind in the front cleft, the back cleft, and near the gatekeeper residue, all of which occur within the region separating the small and large lobes of the protein kinase. The type B inhibitors bind in the front cleft and gate area but do not extend into the back cleft. An analysis of the limited available data indicates that type A inhibitors have a long residence time (minutes to hours) while the type B inhibitors have a short residence time (seconds to minutes). The catalytic spine includes residues from the small and large lobes and interacts with the adenine ring of ATP. Nearly all of the approved protein kinase inhibitors occupy the adenine-binding pocket; thus it is not surprising that these inhibitors interact with nearby catalytic spine (CS) residues. Moreover, a significant number of approved drugs also interact with regulatory spine (RS) residues. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


The physiological Src proto-oncogene is a protein-tyrosine kinase that plays key roles in cell growth, division, migration, and survival signaling pathways. From the N- to C-terminus, Src contains a unique domain, an SH3 domain, an SH2 domain, a protein-tyrosine kinase domain, and a regulatory tail. The chief phosphorylation sites of human Src include an activating pTyr419 that results from phosphorylation in the kinase domain by an adjacent Src molecule and an inhibitory pTyr530 in the regulatory tail that results from phosphorylation by C-terminal Src kinase (Csk) or Chk (Csk homologous kinase). The oncogenic Rous sarcoma viral protein lacks the equivalent of Tyr530 and is constitutively activated. Inactive Src is stabilized by SH2 and SH3 domains on the rear of the kinase domain where they form an immobilizing and inhibitory clamp. Protein kinases including Src contain hydrophobic regulatory and catalytic spines and collateral shell residues that are required to assemble the active enzyme. In the inactive enzyme, the regulatory spine contains a kink or a discontinuity with a structure that is incompatible with catalysis. The conversion of inactive to active Src is accompanied by electrostatic exchanges involving the breaking and making of distinct sets of kinase domain salt bridges and hydrogen bonds. Src-catalyzed protein phosphorylation requires the participation of two Mg2+ ions. Although nearly all protein kinases possess a common K/E/D/D signature, each enzyme exhibits its unique variations of the protein-kinase reaction template. Bosutinib, dasatinib, and ponatinib are Src/multikinase inhibitors that are approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia and vandetanib is approved for the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer. The Src and BCR-Abl inhibitors saracatinib and AZD0424, along with the previous four drugs, are in clinical trials for a variety of solid tumors including breast and lung cancers. Both ATP and targeted therapeutic Src protein kinase inhibitors such as dasatinib and ponatinib make hydrophobic contacts with catalytic spine residues and form hydrogen bonds with hinge residues connecting the small and large kinase lobes. ©2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Roskoski R.,Blue Ridge
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2014

The human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family consists of four members that belong to the ErbB lineage of proteins (ErbB1-4). These receptors consist of a glycosylated extracellular domain, a single hydrophobic transmembrane segment, and an intracellular portion with a juxtamembrane segment, a protein kinase domain, and a carboxyterminal tail. Seven ligands bind to EGFR including epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor α, none bind to ErbB2, two bind to ErbB3, and seven ligands bind to ErbB4. The ErbB proteins function as homo and heterodimers. The heterodimer consisting of ErbB2, which lacks a ligand, and ErbB3, which is kinase impaired, is surprisingly the most robust signaling complex of the ErbB family. Growth factor binding to EGFR induces a large conformational change in the extracellular domain, which leads to the exposure of a dimerization arm in domain II of the extracellular segment. Two ligand-EGFR complexes unite to form a back-to-back dimer in which the ligands are on opposite sides of the aggregate. Following ligand binding, EGFR intracellular kinase domains form an asymmetric homodimer that resembles the heterodimer formed by cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase. The carboxyterminal lobe of the activator kinase of the dimer interacts with the amino-terminal lobe of the receiver kinase thereby leading to its allosteric stimulation. Downstream ErbB signaling modules include the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt (PKB) pathway, the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK1/2 pathway, and the phospholipase C (PLCγ) pathway. Several malignancies are associated with the mutation or increased expression of members of the ErbB family including lung, breast, stomach, colorectal, head and neck, and pancreatic carcinomas and glioblastoma (a brain tumor). Gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib are orally effective protein-kinase targeted quinazoline derivatives that are used in the treatment of ERBB1-mutant lung cancer. Lapatinib is an orally effective quinazoline derivative used in the treatment of ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer. Trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and ado-trastuzumab emtansine, which are given intravenously, are monoclonal antibodies that target the extracellular domain and are used for the treatment of ErbB2-positive breast cancer; ado-trastuzumab emtansine is an antibody-drug conjugate that delivers a cytotoxic drug to cells overexpressing ErbB2. Cetuximab and panitumumab are monoclonal antibodies that target ErbB1 and are used in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Cancers treated with these targeted drugs eventually become resistant to them. The role of combinations of targeted drugs or targeted drugs with cytotoxic therapies is being explored in an effort to prevent or delay drug resistance in the treatment of these malignancies.© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Roskoski Jr. R.,Blue Ridge
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2013

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase was first described in 1994 as the NPM-ALK fusion protein that is expressed in the majority of anaplastic large-cell lymphomas. ALK is a receptor protein-tyrosine kinase that was more fully characterized in 1997. Physiological ALK participates in embryonic nervous system development, but its expression decreases after birth. ALK is a member of the insulin receptor superfamily and is most closely related to leukocyte tyrosine kinase (Ltk), which is a receptor protein-tyrosine kinase. Twenty different ALK-fusion proteins have been described that result from various chromosomal rearrangements, and they have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases including anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors. The EML4-ALK fusion protein and four other ALK-fusion proteins play a fundamental role in the development in about 5% of non-small cell lung cancers. The formation of dimers by the amino-terminal portion of the ALK fusion proteins results in the activation of the ALK protein kinase domain that plays a key role in the tumorigenic process. Downstream signaling from ALK fusion proteins involves the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK1/2 cell proliferation module and the JAK/STAT cell survival pathway. Furthermore, nearly two dozen ALK activating mutations participate in the pathogenesis of childhood neuroblastomas along with ALK overexpression. The occurrence of oncogenic ALK, particularly in non-small cell lung cancer, has generated considerable interest and effort in developing ALK inhibitors. Currently, crizotinib has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer along with an approved fluorescence in situ hybridization kit used for the diagnosis of the disease. The emergence of crizotinib drug resistance with a median occurrence at approximately 10 months after the initiation of therapy has stimulated the development of second-generation drugs for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other disorders. About 28% of the cases of crizotinib resistance are related to nearly a dozen different mutations of ALK in the EML4-ALK fusion protein; the other cases of resistance are related to the upregulation of alternative signaling pathways or to undefined mechanisms. It is remarkable that the EML4-ALK fusion protein was discovered in 2007 and crizotinib was approved for the treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer in 2011, which is a remarkably short timeframe in the overall scheme of drug discovery. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Roskoski Jr. R.,Blue Ridge
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2014

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family consists of four members that belong to the ErbB lineage of proteins (ErbB1-4). These receptors consist of an extracellular domain, a single hydrophobic transmembrane segment, and an intracellular portion with a juxtamembrane segment, a protein kinase domain, and a carboxyterminal tail. The ErbB proteins function as homo and heterodimers. Growth factor binding to EGFR induces a large conformational change in the extracellular domain. Two ligand-EGFR complexes unite to form a back-to-back dimer in which the ligands are on opposite sides of the aggregate. Following ligand binding, EGFR intracellular kinase domains form an asymmetric dimer. The carboxyterminal lobe of the activator kinase of the dimer interacts with the amino-terminal lobe of the receiver kinase thereby leading to its allosteric stimulation. Several malignancies are associated with the mutation or increased expression of members of the ErbB family including lung, breast, stomach, colorectal, head and neck, and pancreatic carcinomas. Gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib are orally effective protein-kinase targeted quinazoline derivatives that are used in the treatment of ERBB1-mutant lung cancer and lapatinib is an orally effective quinazoline derivative used in the treatment of ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancer. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies that target the extracellular domain of ErbB2 are used for the treatment of ErbB2-positive breast cancer and monoclonal antibodies that target ErbB1 and are used for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Cancers treated with these targeted drugs eventually become resistant to them, and a current goal of research is to develop drugs that are effective against drug-resistant tumors. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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