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Science 303 (5665): 1800-1805

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Protein Kinase Inhibitors: Insights into Drug Design from Structure

Martin E. M. Noble,* Jane A. Endicott,* Louise N. Johnson*{dagger}

Abstract: Protein kinases are targets for treatment of a number of diseases. This review focuses on kinase inhibitors that are in the clinic or in clinical trials and for which structural information is available. Structures have informed drug design and have illuminated the mechanism of inhibition. We review progress with the receptor tyrosine kinases (growth factor receptors EGFR, VEGFR, and FGFR) and nonreceptor tyrosine kinases (Bcr-Abl), where advances have been made with cancer therapeutic agents such as Herceptin and Gleevec. Among the serine-threonine kinases, p38, Rho-kinase, cyclin-dependent kinases, and Chk1 have been targeted with productive results for inflammation and cancer. Structures have provided insights into targeting the inactive or active form of the kinase, for targeting the global constellation of residues at the ATP site or less conserved additional pockets or single residues, and into targeting noncatalytic domains.

Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry, Rex Richards Building, University of Oxford, Oxford 3X2 3QU, UK.

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* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: louise{at}

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