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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2005 Apr;14(4):457-77.

Recent progress in the discovery and development of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.

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Cyclacel Limited, James Lindsay Place, Dundee DD1 5JJ, Scotland, UK.


Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) have long been known to be the main facilitators of the cell proliferation cycle. However, they also play important roles in the regulation of the RNA polymerase II transcription cycle. Cancer cells display aberrant cell cycle regulation to gain proliferative advantages and they also appear to have an exaggerated dependence on RNA polymerase II transcriptional activity to sustain pro-survival and antiapoptotic signalling. A picture is now starting to emerge that both the cell-cycle and transcriptional functions of CDKs can be exploited pharmacologically with CDK inhibitors that possess appropriate selectivity profiles. In this article, recent advances into these mechanistic insights and how they can guide clinical development in terms of choice of indication are reviewed, as well as combinations with existing chemotherapies. An overview is also given of recent clinical trial results with the lead CDK inhibitor drug candidates seliciclib (CYC202, (R)-roscovitine; Cyclacel) and alvocidib (flavopiridol; Aventis-NCI), as well as the development of other clinical entries and advanced preclinical compounds. The discussion focuses on oncology, but we point out recent results with CDK inhibitors in virology and nephrology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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