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Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Apr;6(4):321-30.

Targeting polo-like kinase 1 for cancer therapy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, J.W. Goethe-University, Theodore-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.


Human polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) is essential during mitosis and in the maintenance of genomic stability. PLK1 is overexpressed in human tumours and has prognostic potential in cancer, indicating its involvement in carcinogenesis and its potential as a therapeutic target. The use of different PLK1 inhibitors has increased our knowledge of mitotic regulation and allowed us to assess their ability to suppress tumour growth in vivo. We address the structural features of the kinase domain and the unique polo-box domain of PLK1 that are most suited for drug development and discuss our current understanding of the therapeutic potential of PLK1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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