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Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 15;66(8):4299-308.

Discovery and evaluation of dual CDK1 and CDK2 inhibitors.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California 91320-1789, USA.


In eukaryotic cells, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes regulate the temporal progression of cells through the cell cycle. Deregulation in the cell cycle is an essential component in the evolution of cancer. Here, we validate CDK1 and CDK2 as potential therapeutic targets using novel selective small-molecule inhibitors of cyclin B1/CDK1 and cyclin E2/CDK2 enzyme complexes (CDKi). Flow cytometry-based methods were developed to assess intracellular retinoblastoma (Rb) phosphorylation to show inhibition of the CDK pathway. Tumor cells treated with CDK inhibitors showed an overall decrease in cell proliferation, accumulation of cells in G1 and G2, and apoptosis in a cell line-specific manner. Although CDK inhibitors activate p53, the inhibitors were equipotent in arresting the cell cycle in isogenic breast and colon tumor cells lacking p53, suggesting the response is independent of p53. In vivo, the CDK inhibitors prevented the growth of colon and prostate tumors, blocked proliferation of tumor cells, and inhibited Rb phosphorylation. The discovery and evaluation of novel potent and selective CDK1 and CDK2 inhibitors will help delineate the role that CDK complexes play in regulating tumorigenesis.

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