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IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD: Inflammatory diseases are one of the major health issues and have become a major focus in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. To date, drugs prescribed for treatment of these diseases target enzymes that are not specific to the immune system resulting in adverse effects. The main challenge of this research field is, therefore, identifying targets that act specifically on the diseased tissue. AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW: This review summarizes drug discovery efforts on kinases that have been identified as key players mediating inflammation and autoimmune disorders. In particular, we discuss recent developments on well-established targets such as mammalian target of rapamycin, JAK3, spleen tyrosine kinase, p38α and lymphocyte specific kinase but provide also a perspective on emerging targets. WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN: The reader will obtain an overview of drug discovery efforts on kinases in inflammation, recent clinical and preclinical data and developed inhibitor scaffolds. In addition, the reader will be updated on issues in target validation of current drug targets and the potential of selected novel kinase targets in this important disease area. TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Cellular signaling networks that regulate inflammatory response are still poorly understood making rational selection of targets challenging. Recent data suggest that kinase targets that are specific to the immune system and mediate signals immediately downstream of surface receptors are most efficacious in the clinic.

Original publication




Journal article


Expert Opin Drug Discov

Publication Date





867 - 881