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Protein Kinase CK2 as Regulator of Cell Survival: Implications for Cancer Therapy

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Recent studies have generated sufficient information to warrant a consideration of protein kinase CK2 as a potential target for cancer therapy. CK2 is a ubiquitous and highly conserved protein serine / threonine kinase that has long been considered to play a role in cell growth and proliferation. It is essential for cell survival, and considerable evidence suggests that it can also exert potent suppression of apoptosis in cells. This is important since the cancer phenotype is characterized by deregulation of not only proliferation but also of apoptosis. In normal cells, the level of CK2 appears to be tightly regulated, and cells resist a change in their intrinsic level of CK2. However, in all the cancers that have been examined an elevation of CK2 has been observed. Further, it appears that modest deregulation in the CK2 expression imparts a potent oncogenic potential to the cells. Disruption of CK2 by treatment of cells with antisense CK2 results in induction of apoptosis in a time and dose-dependent manner. Thus, we propose that down-regulation of CK2 by employing specific strategies to deliver antisense CK2 in vivo could have a potential role in cancer therapy.
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Keywords: Protein Kinase; antisense CK2; phenotype; proliferation

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Research Service (151), V.A. Medical Center, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA.

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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  • Current Cancer Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular drug targets involved in cancer, e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes.
    Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cancer.
    As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for anti-cancer drug discovery continues to grow; this journal has become essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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