Small-molecule inhibitors of PDK1

Christian Peifer, Dario R. Alessi

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    112 Citations (Scopus)


    Signal transduction of many growth factors and oncogenes is mediated by 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1), a master regulator of a number of downstream signal protein kinose cascades. Hence, PDK1 represents a convergence point for receptor tyrosine kinase and cytokine-medioted pathways for the regulation of vital cell processes such as cell survival and proliferation. Pathological upregulation of PDK1 signalling due to constitutive growth factor receptor activation and/or PTEN (phosphatose and tensin homologue) mutations significantly triggers downstream signalling, e.g. PKB/Akt, which subsequently promote proliferative events such as tumour invosiveness, ongiogenesis, and progression. Consistent with this, a mouse model expressing low levels of PDK1 is protected from tumourigenesis resulting from loss of PTEN. Because more than 50% of all human cancers possess significant overstimulation of the PDK1 signalling pathway, inhibition of this protein kinose by small molecules is predicted to result in effective inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and thus be therapeutically beneficial. Various classes of small-molecule PDK1 inhibitors have been published in patents and papers. Herein we present for the first time a comprehensive collection of small molecules reported to interact with PDK1, and we refer to their biological characterisation in terms of activity and selectivity for PDK1.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1810-1838
    Number of pages29
    Issue number12
    Early online date29 Oct 2008
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2008


    • Biological activity
    • Inhibitors
    • PDK1
    • Proliferative diseases
    • Selectivity


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