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Pharmacol Ther. 1999 May-Jun;82(2-3):389-97.

p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors--mechanisms and therapeutic potentials.

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  • 1Smithkline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA.


The pyridinylimidazole compounds, exemplified by SB 203580, originally were prepared as inflammatory cytokine synthesis inhibitors. Subsequently, the compounds were found to be selective inhibitors for p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), a member of the MAPK family. SB 203580 inhibits the catalytic activity of p38 MAPK by competitive binding in the ATP pocket. Four homologues of p38 MAPK have been identified to date, and interestingly, their biochemical properties and their respective sensitivities to the inhibitors are distinct. X-ray crystallographic analysis of p38-inhibitor complexes reinforces the observations made from site-directed mutagenesis studies, thereby providing a molecular basis for understanding the kinase selectivity of these inhibitors. The p38 MAPK inhibitors are efficacious in several disease models, including inflammation, arthritis and other joint diseases, septic shock, and myocardial injury.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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