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      Human DNA Virus Exploitation of the MAPK-ERK Cascade

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          The extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) comprise a particular branch of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades (MAPK) that transmits extracellular signals into the intracellular environment to trigger cellular growth responses. Similar to other MAPK cascades, the MAPK-ERK pathway signals through three core kinases—Raf, MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK), and ERK—which drive the signaling mechanisms responsible for the induction of cellular responses from extracellular stimuli including differentiation, proliferation, and cellular survival. However, pathogens like DNA viruses alter MAPK-ERK signaling in order to access DNA replication machineries, induce a proliferative state in the cell, or even prevent cell death mechanisms in response to pathogen recognition. Differential utilization of this pathway by multiple DNA viruses highlights the dynamic nature of the MAPK-ERK pathway within the cell and the importance of its function in regulating a wide variety of cellular fates that ultimately influence viral infection and, in some cases, result in tumorigenesis.

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          Identification of a novel inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase.

          The compound U0126 (1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1, 4-bis[2-aminophenylthio]butadiene) was identified as an inhibitor of AP-1 transactivation in a cell-based reporter assay. U0126 was also shown to inhibit endogenous promoters containing AP-1 response elements but did not affect genes lacking an AP-1 response element in their promoters. These effects of U0126 result from direct inhibition of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase family members, MEK-1 and MEK-2. Inhibition is selective for MEK-1 and -2, as U0126 shows little, if any, effect on the kinase activities of protein kinase C, Abl, Raf, MEKK, ERK, JNK, MKK-3, MKK-4/SEK, MKK-6, Cdk2, or Cdk4. Comparative kinetic analysis of U0126 and the MEK inhibitor PD098059 (Dudley, D. T., Pang, L., Decker, S. J., Bridges, A. J., and Saltiel, A. R. (1995) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci U. S. A. 92, 7686-7689) demonstrates that U0126 and PD098059 are noncompetitive inhibitors with respect to both MEK substrates, ATP and ERK. We further demonstrate that the two compounds bind to deltaN3-S218E/S222D MEK in a mutually exclusive fashion, suggesting that they may share a common or overlapping binding site(s). Quantitative evaluation of the steady state kinetics of MEK inhibition by these compounds reveals that U0126 has approximately 100-fold higher affinity for deltaN3-S218E/S222D MEK than does PD098059. We further tested the effects of these compounds on the activity of wild type MEK isolated after activation from stimulated cells. Surprisingly, we observe a significant diminution in affinity of both compounds for wild type MEK as compared with the deltaN3-S218E/S222D mutant enzyme. These results suggest that the affinity of both compounds is mediated by subtle conformational differences between the two activated MEK forms. The MEK affinity of U0126, its selectivity for MEK over other kinases, and its cellular efficacy suggest that this compound will serve as a powerful tool for in vitro and cellular investigations of mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated signal transduction.
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            Discovery and development of sorafenib: a multikinase inhibitor for treating cancer.

            Since the molecular revolution of the 1980s, knowledge of the aetiology of cancer has increased considerably, which has led to the discovery and development of targeted therapies tailored to inhibit cancer-specific pathways. The introduction and refinement of rapid, high-throughput screening technologies over the past decade has greatly facilitated this targeted discovery and development process. Here, we describe the discovery and continuing development of sorafenib (previously known as BAY 43-9006), the first oral multikinase inhibitor that targets Raf and affects tumour signalling and the tumour vasculature. The discovery cycle of sorafenib (Nexavar; Bayer Pharmaceuticals) - from initial screening for a lead compound to FDA approval for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma in December 2005 - was completed in just 11 years, with approval being received approximately 5 years after the initiation of the first Phase I trial.
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              Epidemiology of Human Papillomavirus-Positive Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

              Human papillomavirus (HPV) is now established as the principal cause of an increase in incidence of a subset of head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNCs) in numerous geographic regions around the world. Further study of the epidemiology of HPV-positive HNC will be critical to the development and implementation of public health interventions to reverse these global incidence trends. Here, recent data are reviewed to provide insight into several topics, including incidence trends and projections for HPV-positive HNC; the worldwide HPV-attributable fraction; sex disparities in cancer risk; the epidemiology of oral HPV infection; the latency period between infection and cancer; the potential impact of prophylactic HPV vaccination; and prospects for secondary prevention through screening for oral HPV infection or seroreactivity to viral antigens. The identification of a single necessary cause for any cancer provides a rare and perhaps extraordinary opportunity for cancer prevention.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                12 July 2019
                July 2019
                : 20
                : 14
                [1 ]Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, The University of Maine, Orono, ME 04401, USA
                [2 ]Graduate School in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, The University of Maine, Orono, ME 04401, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: melissa.maginnis@ 123456maine.edu ; Tel.: +1-207-581-2806
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Molecular biology

                mitogen-activated protein kinase, viruses, cellular signaling, infection


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