Special Issue "Protein Kinases and Cancer"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed

Minneapolis V.A. Health Care System, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: protein kinases; protein kinase CK2; prostate cancer; androgens; cancer; head and neck cancer; signaling; protein kinases as targets for therapy; cancer therapy; nuclear matrix; chromatin; intracellular shuttling; apoptosis; mitochondria; cell death; cell calcium
Guest Editor
Dr. Janeen Trembley

Minneapolis V.A. Health Care System, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: protein kinase CK2; CDK11; breast cancer; melanoma; prostate cancer; cancer therapy; mitochondria; RNA splicing; transcription; cell cycle

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the latter part of the twentieth century, it has continuously been recognized that protein kinases represent a large group of enzymes involved in the phosphorylation of proteins at various sites, thereby altering their functional activities. Protein phosphorylation has emerged as a major post-translation modification encountered by proteins occurring in normal, as well as in abnormal, cell functions. Virtually every aspect of biology is affected by activity of protein kinases. Diverse protein kinases modify proteins largely at serine, threonine, and tyrosine, although other phosphorylation sites are also known. Importantly, a protein may be modified by several protein kinases at the same sites, as well as at multiple sites by different kinases, thereby resulting in complex regulation of the function of a particular protein.

Because of the vast involvement of protein kinases in cell biological functions and their role in various disease states, it stands to reason that protein kinases have attracted much attention as possible targets for therapeutic intervention. In this regard, the role of dysregulated function of protein kinases in cancer has attracted particular consideration and there is a large body of ongoing investigations in this subject area as many different protein kinases are implicated in cancer development and survival. The involvement of protein kinases in cancer is also of focal interest because they serve as existing and potential targets for cancer therapy, and this is also a highly active area of research.  

The present Special Issue of Pharmaceuticals is specially dedicated to “Protein Kinases and Cancer”, and represents a compendium of manuscripts and review articles involving different protein kinases with respect to their biological function in various cancers and their potential as therapeutic targets. Pharmaceuticals has previously published a Special Issue dealing with Protein Kinase CK2 and Cancer; you may refer to:https://www.mdpi.com/journal/pharmaceuticals/special_issues/protein_kinase_CK2. However, the present issue includes a broader range of topics covering Protein Kinases and Cancer. We sincerely hope that you will be able to contribute a research manuscript or review article dealing with your research in this area of investigation. The quality of the publications will be ensured by peer review of all the manuscripts prior to their publication.

We look forward to your participation in this endeavor.

Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed
Dr. Janeen Trembley
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. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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

  • Protein kinases
  • Cancer biology
  • Cancer therapy
  • Signaling
  • Protein kinases as target for cancer therapy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle CDK11 Loss Induces Cell Cycle Dysfunction and Death of BRAF and NRAS Melanoma Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12020050
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 24 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
PDF Full-text (1538 KB) | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cyclin dependent kinase 11 (CDK11) is a protein kinase that regulates RNA transcription, pre-mRNA splicing, mitosis, and cell death. Targeting of CDK11 expression levels is effective in the experimental treatment of breast and other cancers, but these data are lacking in melanoma. To [...] Read more.
Cyclin dependent kinase 11 (CDK11) is a protein kinase that regulates RNA transcription, pre-mRNA splicing, mitosis, and cell death. Targeting of CDK11 expression levels is effective in the experimental treatment of breast and other cancers, but these data are lacking in melanoma. To understand CDK11 function in melanoma, we evaluated protein and RNA levels of CDK11, Cyclin L1 and Cyclin L2 in benign melanocytes and BRAF- as well as NRAS-mutant melanoma cell lines. We investigated the effectiveness of reducing expression of this survival kinase using RNA interference on viability, clonal survival, and tumorsphere formation in melanoma cell lines. We examined the impact of CDK11 loss in BRAF-mutant melanoma on more than 700 genes important in cancer signaling pathways. Follow-up analysis evaluated how CDK11 loss alters cell cycle function in BRAF- and NRAS-mutant melanoma cells. We present data on CDK11, CCNL1 and CCNL2 mRNA expression in melanoma patients, including prognosis for survival. In sum, we found that CDK11 is necessary for melanoma cell survival, and a major impact of CDK11 loss in melanoma is to cause disruption of the cell cycle distribution with accumulation of G1- and loss of G2/M-phase cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Kinases and Cancer)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Multi-Functional Calcium/Calmodulin Stimulated Protein Kinase (CaMK) Family: Emerging Targets for Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Intervention
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12010008
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
The importance of Ca2+ signalling in key events of cancer cell function and tumour progression, such as proliferation, migration, invasion and survival, has recently begun to be appreciated. Many cellular Ca2+-stimulated signalling cascades utilise the intermediate, calmodulin (CaM). The Ca [...] Read more.
The importance of Ca2+ signalling in key events of cancer cell function and tumour progression, such as proliferation, migration, invasion and survival, has recently begun to be appreciated. Many cellular Ca2+-stimulated signalling cascades utilise the intermediate, calmodulin (CaM). The Ca2+/CaM complex binds and activates a variety of enzymes, including members of the multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulated protein kinase (CaMK) family. These enzymes control a broad range of cancer-related functions in a multitude of tumour types. Herein, we explore the cancer-related functions of these kinases and discuss their potential as targets for therapeutic intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Kinases and Cancer)
Figures

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Open AccessReview Natural Compounds and Derivatives as Ser/Thr Protein Kinase Modulators and Inhibitors
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12010004
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
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Abstract
The need for new drugs is compelling, irrespective of the disease. Focusing on medical problems in the Western countries, heart disease and cancer are at the moment predominant illnesses. Owing to the fact that ~90% of all 21,000 cellular proteins in humans are [...] Read more.
The need for new drugs is compelling, irrespective of the disease. Focusing on medical problems in the Western countries, heart disease and cancer are at the moment predominant illnesses. Owing to the fact that ~90% of all 21,000 cellular proteins in humans are regulated by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation it is not surprising that the enzymes catalysing these reactions (i.e., protein kinases and phosphatases, respectively) have attracted considerable attention in the recent past. Protein kinases are major team players in cell signalling. In tumours, these enzymes are found to be mutated disturbing the proper function of signalling pathways and leading to uncontrolled cellular growth and sustained malignant behaviour. Hence, the search for small-molecule inhibitors targeting the altered protein kinase molecules in tumour cells has become a major research focus in the academia and pharmaceutical companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Kinases and Cancer)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Natural compounds and derivatives as protein kinase modulators in cancer
Article Type: Review
Authors: Barbara Guerra & Olaf-Georg Issinger
Affiliation: BMB, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark

Title: The role of multifunctional calcium/calmodulin-stimulated protein kinases in cancer
Article Type: Review
Authors: Kathryn A Skelding
Affiliation: School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
, Faculty of Health and Medicine
, The University of Newcastle (UON) and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Australia

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