• Open Access

Oncogenic role of kinesin proteins and targeting kinesin therapy


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E-mail: kunhuang2008@hotmail.com


The kinesin superfamily (KIF) is a group of proteins that share a highly conserved motor domain. Except for some members, many KIF proteins have adenosine triphosphatase activity and microtubule-dependent plus-end motion ability. Kinesins participate in several essential cellular functions, including mitosis, meiosis and the transport of macromolecules. Increasing evidence indicates kinesin proteins play critical roles in the genesis and development of human cancers. Some kinesin proteins are associated with maligancy as well as drug resistance of solid tumor. Thus, targeting KIF therapy seems to be a promising anticancer strategy. Inhibitors of KIF such as kinesin spindle protein (KSP/Eg5) have entered clinical trials for monotherapy or in combination with other drugs, and kinesins other than Eg5 with various potential anticancer target characteristics are also constantly being discovered and studied. Here, we summarize the oncogenic roles of kinesin proteins and potential cancer therapy strategies that target KIF.