Targeting protein kinase A in cancer therapy: an update


  • Luigi Sapio
  • Francesca Di Maiolo
  • Michela Illiano
  • Antonietta Esposito
  • Emilio Chiosi
  • Annamaria Spina
  • Silvio Naviglio Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and General Pathology. Second University of Naples, Medical School, Italy


PKA, cAMP, cancer therapy, designing kinase inhibitors


Protein Kinase A (PKA) is a well known member of the serine-threonin protein kinase superfamily. PKA, also known as cAMP-dependent protein kinase, is a multi-unit protein kinase that mediates signal transduction of G-protein coupled receptors through its activation upon cAMP binding. The widespread expression of PKA subunit genes, and the myriad of mechanisms by which cAMP is regulated within a cell suggest that PKA signaling is one of extreme importance to cellular function. It is involved in the control of a wide variety of cellular processes from metabolism to ion channel activation, cell growth and differentiation, gene expression and apoptosis. Importantly, since it has been implicated in the initiation and progression of many tumors, PKA has been proposed as a novel biomarker for cancer detection, and as a potential molecular target for cancer therapy. Here, we highlight some features of cAMP/PKA signaling that are relevant to cancer biology and present an update on targeting PKA in cancer therapy.



How to Cite

Sapio, L., Di Maiolo, F., Illiano, M., Esposito, A., Chiosi, E., Spina, A., & Naviglio, S. (2014). Targeting protein kinase A in cancer therapy: an update. EXCLI Journal, 13, 843–855. Retrieved from



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