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Critical role of a kinase in breast cancer pathogenesis for use in diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis


SNF1-related serine/threonine kinase was found to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of breast cancers and is a potential diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic target.



Lewis Chodosh, MD, PhD, Department of Cancer Biology



Various studies have shown that estradiol and progesterone play a critical role in the development of breast cancer. Moreover, aberrant expression or mutations of protein kinases have been linked to the pathogenesis of cancer in humans. The identification of a protein or small molecule that provides a molecular target in this pathway would provide significant diagnostic and therapeutic benefit to numerous cancer patients.



This invention relates to the discovery of a SNF1-related serine/threonine kinase and its nucleotide sequence, Hormonally Up-regulated, Neu-Tumor-Associated Kinase (HUNK). HUNK is markedly down regulated in a variety of human breast cancers and provides a useful molecular target for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.



• Use to diagnose ductal and lobular carcinomas of the breast

• Use to screen for a HUNK agonist or antagonist

• Use HUNK or HUNK nucleotide sequence for diagnosis and prognosis of disease

• Use of inverse correlation of HUNK expression and tumor grade for ovarian cancer prognosis  


Stage of Development

In-vivo murine data


Intellectual Property

• USSN 7,119,185

• USSN 7,368,113


Reference Media

Yeh et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2013, 110(15) - 6103-8

Yeh et al. J Clin Invest. 2011, 121(3) - 866-79

Gardner et al. Development. 2000, 127(20) - 4493-509 


Desired partnerships

• License




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Docket # M2335 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Linara Axanova
Associate Director, PSOM Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
Lewis Chodosh