Equivocal, explicit and emergent actions of PKC isoforms in cancer


The maturing mutational landscape of cancer genomes, the development and application of clinical interventions and evolving insights into tumour-associated functions reveal unexpected features of the protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine/threonine protein kinases. These advances include recent work showing gain or loss-of-function mutations relating to driver or bystander roles, how conformational constraints and plasticity impact this class of proteins and how emergent cancer-associated properties may offer opportunities for intervention. The profound impact of the tumour microenvironment, reflected in the efficacy of immune checkpoint interventions, further prompts to incorporate PKC family actions and interventions in this ecosystem, informed by insights into the control of stromal and immune cell functions. Drugging PKC isoforms has offered much promise, but when and how is not obvious.