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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A structural at~las of kinases inhibited by clinically approved drugs

  • Author(s): Wang, Q
  • Zorn, JA
  • Kuriyan, J
  • et al.

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© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. The aberrant activation of protein kinases is associated with many human diseases, most notably cancer. Due to this link between kinase deregulation and disease progression, kinases are one of the most targeted protein families for small-molecule inhibition. Within the last 15 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved over 20 small-molecule inhibitors of protein kinases for use in the clinic. These inhibitors target the kinase active site and represent the successful hurdling by medicinal chemists of the formidable challenge posed by the high similarity among the active sites of the approximately 500 human kinases. We review the conserved structural features of kinases that are important for inhibitor binding as well as for catalysis. Many clinically approved drugs elicit selectivity by exploiting subtle variation within the kinase active site. We highlight some of the crystallographic studies on the kinase-inhibitor complexes that have provided valuable guidance for the development of these drugs as well as for future drug design efforts.

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