A first generation inhibitor of human Greatwall kinase, enabled by structural and functional characterisation of a minimal kinase domain construct

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Ocasio, Cory A. ; Rajasekaran, Mohan B. ; Walker, Sarah ; Le Grand, Darren ; Spencer, John ; Pearl, Frances M.G. ; Ward, Simon E. ; Savic, Velibor ; Pearl, Laurence H. ; Hochegger, Helfrid ; Oliver, Antony W. (2016)
  • Publisher: Impact Journals LLC
  • Journal: Oncotarget, volume 7, issue 44, pages 71,182-71,197 (eissn: 1949-2553)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11511, pmc: PMC5342071
  • Subject: kinase | Greatwall | inhibitor | ENSA | cancer | Research Paper

MASTL (microtubule-associated serine/threonine kinase-like), more commonly known as Greatwall (GWL), has been proposed as a novel cancer therapy target. GWL plays a crucial role in mitotic progression, via its known substrates ENSA/ARPP19, which when phosphorylated inactivate PP2A/B55 phosphatase. When over-expressed in breast cancer, GWL induces oncogenic properties such as transformation and invasiveness. Conversely, down-regulation of GWL selectively sensitises tumour cells to chemotherapy. Here we describe the first structure of the GWL minimal kinase domain and development of a small-molecule inhibitor GKI-1 (Greatwall Kinase Inhibitor-1). In vitro, GKI-1 inhibits full-length human GWL, and shows cellular efficacy. Treatment of HeLa cells with GKI-1 reduces ENSA/ARPP19 phosphorylation levels, such that they are comparable to those obtained by siRNA depletion of GWL; resulting in a decrease in mitotic events, mitotic arrest/cell death and cytokinesis failure. Furthermore, GKI-1 will be a useful starting point for the development of more potent and selective GWL inhibitors.
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