Kinases are a large family of enzymes that catalyse the transfer of a phosphate group from ATP to a substrate, most commonly a protein or lipid.
Kinases are involved in a wide variety of diseases and are therefore important drug targets. To date about 50 kinase inhibitor drugs1 have been approved. Many of these are multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase (MRTK) inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, e.g. imatinib and dasatinib, although recent research by Domainex and others has delivered much more selective compounds for cancer and other major diseases. However, with 518 kinases encoded in the human genome and evidence that they play an important role in many illnesses such as immunological, inflammatory, degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular and infectious diseases as well as cancer, there is still much more work to be done in the field.2,3,4
Our assay biologists have established a plethora of assays (both biochemical and cell-based) to support integrated kinase drug discovery programmes, including techniques such as Homogeneous Time Resolved Fluorescence (HTRF), ADP-Glo™ and AlphaLISA. We have also used NanoBRET™ to quantitatively measure binding of test compounds to native kinase targets in live cells, and Western blotting and AlphaLISA SureFire Ultra to study phosphorylation of substrate proteins in a cellular environment. We have also developed assaysto demonstrate effects on disease-relevant phenotypic read-outs (e.g. for release of cytokines).