The PKN class of PKC family proteins are Rho and Rac responsive protein kinases, sharing regulatory inputs with a broad collection of signalling proteins that typically have been neglected in considering Rho family responses.

In the context of cancer, there is evidence indicating specific PKN isoform action in particular tumours, this includes a role for PKN3 in invasive behaviour in advanced prostate cancer. The rather specific role for this isoform is not reflected in other ex vivo migratory contexts and our evidence indicates that different PKN isoforms contribute to migration in different cell types through non-redundant regulatory inputs.

The extent to which unique and redundant actions characterise the PKN isoforms is being pursued in knock-out and conditional knock-out models under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In particular the non-redundant requirement for PKN2 in development has stimulated much interest in its role in the mesenchyme and contribution to the tumour stroma (Angus Cameron QMUL collaboration).