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Cancer Cell. 2010 Sep 14;18(3):244-57. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2010.08.011.

In silico analysis of kinase expression identifies WEE1 as a gatekeeper against mitotic catastrophe in glioblastoma.

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Neuro-oncology Research Group, Departments of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, VU University Medical Center, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Kinases execute pivotal cellular functions and are therefore widely investigated as potential targets in anticancer treatment. Here we analyze the kinase gene expression profiles of various tumor types and reveal the wee1 kinase to be overexpressed in glioblastomas. We demonstrate that WEE1 is a major regulator of the G(2) checkpoint in glioblastoma cells. Inhibition of WEE1 by siRNA or small molecular compound in cells exposed to DNA damaging agents results in abrogation of the G(2) arrest, premature termination of DNA repair, and cell death. Importantly, we show that the small-molecule inhibitor of WEE1 sensitizes glioblastoma to ionizing radiation in vivo. Our results suggest that inhibition of WEE1 kinase holds potential as a therapeutic approach in treatment of glioblastoma.

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