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Critical role of a kinase in breast and colon cancer pathogenesis

A serine/threonine kinase plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of breast and colon cancers and is a potential diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic target.


This invention relates to the discovery of a serine/threonine kinase, Pregnancy-Up-regulated Nonubiquitous CaM Kinase (PNCK), which is markedly over expressed in a variety of human breast cancers and directly correlated to the tumor grade of ovarian cancers. Also, PNCK was found to be decreased in human colon carcinomas and inversely correlated with colon cancer tumor grade. 


Results from clinical studies indicate that early full term births result in permanent change of breast tissue, decreasing a women’s risk of developing breast cancer. Moreover, aberrant expression or mutations of protein kinases are linked to the pathogenesis of cancer in humans. A protein or small molecule that provides a molecular target in this pathway would provide significant diagnostic and therapeutic benefit to numerous cancer patients.


  • Use to diagnose breast cancer
  • Use to diagnose human colon carcinomas
  • Use of PNCK or PNCK nucleotide sequence for drug screening

Stage of Development:

In-vivo murine data 

Intellectual Property: 

  • USSN 7,041,495
  • USSN 7,741,111  

Reference Media: 

Desired Partnerships: 

Patent Information:


Docket # O2740 

For Information, Contact:

Linara Axanova Associate Director, PSOM Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania