A gene on chromosome 13q12 that encodes a cyclin-dependent kinase, which regulates cell cycle progression. CDK8 and its regulatory subunit, cyclin C, belong to the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme complex.
"CDK8 is highly expressed in aggressive melanoma, suggesting it also plays a major role in the process," Dr.
Through further functional studies, researchers found that eliminating macroH2A led to an increase in CDK8 expression, and the elimination of CDK8 in metastatic melanoma cells impaired their proliferation.
Lead researcher Dr William Hahn, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, US, said: "Drugs that target CDK8 may be very useful against tumours whose growth is driven by beta-catenin."
According to the company, SEL120 is an orally-available, small molecule, inhibitor of CDK8, a kinase that represents a potential therapeutic target in indications characterised by dysregulation of transcription, including haematological cancers and solid tumours.
Krakow, Poland-based Selvita has discovered a potential compound known as SEL120, a developing therapy that targets the cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (CDK8) protein and plays a integral role in gene regulation.