The diacylglycerol-responsive C1 domains of protein kinase C and of the related classes of signaling proteins represent highly attractive targets for drug development. The signaling functions that are regulated by C1 domains are central to cellular control, thereby impacting many pathological conditions. Our understanding of the diacylglycerol signaling pathways provides great confidence in the utility of intervention in these pathways for treatment of cancer and other conditions. Multiple compounds directed at these signaling proteins, including compounds directed at the C1 domains, are currently in clinical trials, providing strong validation for these targets. Extensive understanding of the structure and function of C1 domains, coupled with detailed insights into the molecular details of ligand – C1 domain interactions, provides a solid basis for rational and semi-rational drug design. Finally, the complexity of the factors contributing to ligand – C1 domain interactions affords abundant opportunities for manipulation of selectivity; indeed, substantially selective compounds have already been identified.
Keywords: Protein kinase C, phorbol ester, RasGRP, bryostatin, C1 domain
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