Protein Kinases in Tune

Tuesday April 27, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Central Time (CT)

View session on the EB Virtual Platform (EB registration required)


Chair :

Alexandra Newton
University of California, San Diego

This symposium, chaired by the 2019 ASPET Axelrod Awardee, Dr. Alexandra C. Newton, will celebrate the exquisite regulation of protein kinases, one of the largest gene families in humans. The >500 members in this family are instruments nature uses to relay information throughout the cell. Every instrument not only has a precise and finely controlled role in the symphony that controls cell function, but is itself finely tuned for perfect pitch. When these instruments are not in tune, the ensuing cacophony is causal in disease. The symposium will cover protein kinases from structure to biology. The canceled 2020 Axelrod Lecture will be incorporated in this symposium.


Alexandra Newton - University of California, San Diego

Protein Kinase C Out of Tune: Deregulation in Disease

Protein kinase C family members are multi-domain proteins whose function is exquisitely tuned by inter-domain interactions that control the spatiotemporal dynamics of their signaling. This allosteric regulation is precisely controlled by multiple mechanisms that ensure that the enzyme is only active for specific times at specific locations in response to specific signals. Deregulation of any of these mechanisms result in pathophysiologies, with loss-of-function associated with cancer and enhanced function associated with degenerative disease

John Brognard - National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH

Mining the Unexplored Kinome for Novel Oncogenic Kinases

Squamous cell carcinomas represent cancers of unmet need, where a majority of the cancer drivers are unknown and patients lack targeted therapies for the treatment of their cancer.  Utilizing cancer genomic screens we have identified several novel kinases as drivers of SCCs and I will highlight our progress on defining these kinases as new targets for therapeutic intervention. 

Susan Taylor - University of California, San Diego

New PKA Frontiers from the Dark Kinome

Although PKA has served as the prototypical kinase for many decades, all our structure/function knowledge is based on the Ca subunit. Buried in the “Dark Kinome" is the Cb subunit with its many splice variants. These forgotten Cb isoforms are highly expressed in brain and lymphocytes, and recent disease mutations show that Cb is opening an exciting new frontier in PKA signaling. 

Jenna Jewell - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Environmental Sensing by mTORC1

mTORC1 senses the extracellular environment in order to control cell growth, and is typically hyperactivated in human disease. GPCRs paired to Galphas proteins potently inhibit mTORC1 activity through PKA. We have been investigating the molecular mechanisms by which GPCR signaling regulates mTORC1.

Melanie Cobb - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW)

WNK Signaling through Interaction Motifs

WNK1 is an essential gene, with an unusual kinase domain and many protein interaction motifs.  Among its kinase targets OSR1 and SPAK have a small domain that recognizes short linear motifs.  We have been mining motif interactions to uncover unknown or little studied WNK biology. 

Last Updated: February 8, 2021
Key Dates
April 27 – 30, 2021

ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2021

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