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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinases are central components of signal transduction cascades often dysregulated in cancer, and they represent some of the most promising drug targets. However, the target selectivity is a major concern because most described kinase inhibitors target the highly conserved ATP-binding pocket. Recently, new classes of inhibitors that do not compete with ATP and exhibit different mechanisms of action have been described. Overexpression of protein kinase CK2 is an unfavorable prognostic marker in several cancers. Consequently, CK2 has emerged as a relevant therapeutic target. Several classes of ATP-competitive inhibitors have been identified, showing variable effectiveness. The molecular architecture of this multisubunit enzyme could offer alternative strategies to inhibit CK2 functions, and this review illustrates these emerging possibilities.
    Chemistry & biology 03/2009; 16(2):112-20. · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high frequency of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genome and antigens in tumor samples of patients with different malignancies is now well documented, although the causative role for HCMV in the development of the neoplasias remains to be established. HCMV infection can modulate multiple cellular regulatory and signalling pathways in a manner similar to that of oncoproteins of small DNA tumor viruses such as human papilloma virus or adenoviruses. However, in contrast to these DNA tumor viruses, HCMV infection fails to transform susceptible normal human cells. There is now growing evidence that tumor cells with disrupted regulatory and signalling pathways enable HCMV to modulate their properties including stimulation of cell proliferation, survival, invasion, production of angiogenic factors, and immunogenic properties. In contrast to previously suggested "hit and run" transformation we suggest that persistence in tumor cells is essential for HCMV to fully express its oncomodulatory effects. These effects are observed particularly in persistent HCMV infection and are mediated mainly by activity of HCMV regulatory proteins. In persistently HCMV-infected tumor cell lines - a selection of novel, slowly growing virus variants with changes in coding sequences for virus regulatory proteins takes place. As a result, oncomodulatory effects of HCMV infection may lead to a shift to more malignant phenotype of tumor cells contributing to tumor progression.
    FEMS Microbiology Reviews 03/2004; 28(1):59-77. · 13.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Moclobemide (MB) is an antidepressant drug that selectively and reversibly inhibits monoamine oxidase-A. Recent studies have revealed that antidepressant drugs possess the characters of potent growth-promoting factors for the development of neurogenesis and improve the survival rate of serotonin (5-hydroxytrytamine; 5-HT) neurons. However, whether MB comprises neuroprotection effects or modulates the proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) needs to be elucidated. 2. In this study, firstly, we used the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay to demonstrate that 50 microM MB can increase the cell viability of NSCs. The result of real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that the induction of MB can upregulate the gene expressions of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. By using caspases 8 and 3, ELISA and terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, our data further confirmed that 50 microM MB-treated NSCs can prevent FasL-induced apoptosis. 3. The morphological findings also supported the evidence that MB can facilitate the dendritic development and increase the neurite expansion of NSCs. Moreover, we found that MB treatment increased the expression of Bcl-2 in NSCs through activating the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. 4. By using the triple-staining immunofluorescent study, the percentages of serotonin- and MAP-2-positive cells in the day 7 culture of MB-treated NSCs were significantly increased (P<0.01). Furthermore, our data supported that MB treatment increased functional production of serotonin in NSCs via the modulation of ERK1/2. In sum, the study results support that MB can upregulate Bcl-2 expression and induce the differentiation of NSCs into serotoninergic neuron via ERK pathway.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 08/2006; 148(5):587-98. · 5.07 Impact Factor