A cell-based screening method for specifically detecting kinase activity

Suda, Mikiya; Ishii, Tsuyoshi; Sootome, Hiroshi; King, Alastair J.; Shibahara, Megumi; Noro, Nobuhiro; Yamashita, Keizo; Noumi, Takato
January 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jan2008, Vol. 390 Issue 1, p343
Academic Journal
No universal approach has been reported for specific monitoring of the catalytic activity of a wide range of kinases in cells. The present study describes an original platform for detecting the autonomous activity of serine/threonine kinases in cells through the introduction of expression vectors encoding modified substrate kinase fusion proteins. The surrogate substrate used consists of the p53 tumor suppressor protein fused with individual kinase domains (Chk1, DYRK3, and Cdk5) at its carboxy-terminal through four tandem Gly-Gly-Gly-Gly-Ser repeats. After transfection into cells, phosphorylation of the p53 moiety could be specifically induced by the catalytic activity of kinases contained in the fusion protein. Moreover, p53 phosphorylation was significantly blocked when a kinase-inactive mutant was used as the fusion partner instead of the active kinase. Using this system, the cell-based evaluation of several Cdk5 inhibitors was demonstrated. Thus, this approach provides a novel platform for the specific, cell-based screening of inhibitors of a wide prospective range of protein kinases and is of tremendous potential for drug discovery efforts.


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