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ABSTRACT: Protein phosphorylation has been exploited by Nature in profound ways to control various aspects of cell proliferation, differentiation, metabolism, survival, motility and gene transcription. Cellular signal transduction pathways involve protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and phosphoprotein-interacting domain (e.g., SH2, PTB, WW, FHA, 14-3-3) containing cellular proteins to provide multidimensional, dynamic and reversible regulation of many biological activities. Knowledge of cellular signal transduction pathways has led to the identification of promising therapeutic targets amongst these superfamilies of enzymes and adapter proteins which have been linked to various cancers as well as inflammatory, immune, metabolic and bone diseases. This review focuses on protein kinase, protein phosphatase and phosphoprotein-interacting cellular protein therapeutic targets with an emphasis on small-molecule drug discovery from a chemistry perspective. Noteworthy studies related to molecular genetics, signal transduction pathways, structural biology, and drug design for several of these therapeutic targets are highlighted. Some exemplary proof-of-concept lead compounds, clinical candidates and/or breakthrough medicines are further detailed to illustrate achievements as well as challenges in the generation, optimization and development of small-molecule inhibitors of protein kinases, protein phosphatases or phosphoprotein-interacting domain containing cellular proteins.
Medicinal Chemistry 06/2005; 1(3):293-319. · 1.39 Impact Factor