Molecular Pathways: Targeting the Protein Kinase Wee1 in Cancer

Jill J. Geenen, Jan H M Schellens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Wee1 is a protein kinase that regulates the G2checkpoint and prevents entry into mitosis in response to DNA damage. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) are a family of 14 serine/threonine protein kinases that coordinate the progression through the cell cycle. The Cdc2/cyclin B complex controls the progression from G2into mitosis. There are two mechanisms by which the G2checkpoint is initiated in response to DNA damage: phosphorylation of Cdc25c by CHK1 and of the Wee1 kinase, which phosphorylates Cdc2. Blockade at the G2checkpoint is especially important for p53-mutant cells because these tumors mainly rely on DNA repair at the G2checkpoint. AZD1775 (formerly MK-1775) is a small-molecule, pyrazol-pyrimidine derivative and potent and ATP-competitive specific inhibitor of the Wee1 kinase. Several preclinical and clinical studies demonstrated encouraging antitumor effects with manageable side effects of the combination of Wee1 inhibition and DNA-damaging agents. Promising combination schedules are being investigated at the moment, for example, combining PARP inhibition and Wee1 inhibition. Also, a weekly schedule with carboplatin and AZD1775 warrants investigation aimed at further improving the antitumor effect.Clin Cancer Res; 23(16); 4540-4. ©2017 AACR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4540-4544
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Pathways: Targeting the Protein Kinase Wee1 in Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this