Modelling the functions of Polo-like kinases in mice and their applications as cancer targets with a special focus on ovarian cancer

  • Polo-like kinases (PLKs) belong to a five-membered family of highly conserved serine/threonine kinases (PLK1-5) that play differentiated and essential roles as key mitotic kinases and cell cycle regulators and with this in proliferation and cellular growth. Besides, evidence is accumulating for complex and vital non-mitotic functions of PLKs. Dysregulation of PLKs is widely associated with tumorigenesis and by this, PLKs have gained increasing significance as attractive targets in cancer with diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential. PLK1 has proved to have strong clinical relevance as it was found to be over-expressed in different cancer types and linked to poor patient prognosis. Targeting the diverse functions of PLKs (tumor suppressor, oncogenic) are currently at the center of numerous investigations in particular with the inhibition of PLK1 and PLK4, respectively in multiple cancer trials. Functions of PLKs and the effects of their inhibition have been extensively studied in cancer cell culture models but information is rare on how these drugs affect benign tissues and organs. As a step further towards clinical application as cancer targets, mouse models therefore play a central role. Modelling PLK function in animal models, e.g., by gene disruption or by treatment with small molecule PLK inhibitors offers promising possibilities to unveil the biological significance of PLKs in cancer maintenance and progression and give important information on PLKs’ applicability as cancer targets. In this review we aim at summarizing the approaches of modelling PLK function in mice so far with a special glimpse on the significance of PLKs in ovarian cancer and of orthotopic cancer models used in this fatal malignancy.

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Author:Monika Kressin, Daniela Fietz, Sven BeckerORCiDGND, Klaus StrebhardtORCiD
Parent Title (English):Cells
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/12
Date of first Publication:2021/05/12
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/11
Tag:cancer treatment; mouse models; oncogenesis; ovarian cancer; polo-like kinases
Issue:5, art. 1176
Page Number:27
First Page:1
Last Page:27
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0