JNK3 belongs to the MAP Kinase family of enzymes, a group of proteins that help to transmit signals from the surface of cells to the nucleus, allowing cells to respond to their environment. Pharmaceutical industry interest in JNK3 stems from animal studies that implicate JNK3 in neurological diseases such as epilepsy. Genomic research has shown that mice bred to be deficient in JNK3 show reduced susceptibility to seizure and neuronal cell death.
Vertex's has an established track record of applying structural information to genomic discoveries as part of an effort to discover new drugs against innovative targets. Vertex employs an interdisciplinary approach that integrates biophysics, biology and chemistry towards the efficient design and development of novel pharmaceuticals.