Structural and chemical insights into the covalent-allosteric inhibition of the protein kinase Akt
The Ser/Thr kinase Akt (Protein Kinase B/PKB) is a master switch in cellular signal transduction pathways. Its downstream signaling influences cell proliferation, cell growth, and apoptosis, rendering Akt a prominent drug target. The unique activation mechanism of Akt involves a change of the relative orientation of its N-terminal pleckstrin homology (PH) and the kinase domain and makes this kinase suitable for highly specific allosteric modulation. Here we present a unique set of crystal structures of covalent-allosteric interdomain inhibitors in complex with full-length Akt and report the structure-based design, synthesis, biological and pharmacological evaluation of a focused library of these innovative inhibitors.