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<jats:p>LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK1) is a key regulator of actin dynamics. It is thereby a potential therapeutic target for the prevention of fragile X syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Herein, we use X-ray crystallography and activity assays to describe how LIMK1 accomplishes substrate specificity, to suggest a unique 'rock-and-poke' mechanism of catalysis and to explore the regulation of the kinase by activation loop phosphorylation. Based on these findings, a differential scanning fluorimetry assay and a RapidFire mass spectrometry activity assay were established, leading to the discovery and confirmation of a set of small-molecule LIMK1 inhibitors. Interestingly, several of the inhibitors were inactive towards the closely related isoform LIMK2. Finally, crystal structures of the LIMK1 kinase domain in complex with inhibitors (PF-477736 and staurosporine, respectively) are presented, providing insights into LIMK1 plasticity upon inhibitor binding.</jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


Biochemical Journal


Portland Press Ltd.

Publication Date