A driving test for oncogenic mutationsActivating mutations in protein kinases are a frequent cause of cancer, and selecting drugs that act on these oncogenic kinases can lead to effective therapies. Targeted or whole-genome sequencing of tumor samples can readily reveal the presence of mutations, but discerning previously uncharacterized activating “driver” mutations that will respond to drug treatment from much more abundant but inconsequential “passenger” mutations is problematic. Chakroborty et al. apply a screening approach that leverages error-prone PCR and a proliferating cell model to identify such gain-of-function mutants in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase.
Navigating the conformational landscape of G protein–coupled receptor kinases during allosteric activationG protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) are essential for transferring extracellular signals into carefully choreographed intracellular responses controlling diverse aspects of cell physiology. The duration of GPCR-mediated signaling is primarily regulated via GPCR kinase (GRK)-mediated phosphorylation of activated receptors. Although many GRK structures have been reported, the mechanisms underlying GRK activation are not well-understood, in part because it is unknown how these structures map to the conformational landscape available to this enzyme family.