Balanol is a fungal metabolite produced by the fungus Verticillium balanoides. It is a potent inhibitor of the serine/threonine kinases protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC), binding in a similar manner with that of ATP. Balanol was discovered in 1993 in the search for novel inhibitors of PKC, a member of a family of serine/threonine kinases whose overactivation is associated with numerous human diseases of signal transduction including cancer. However, much of the research on balanol focuses on how chemical modifications of the molecular structure affect binding to PKA. Indeed, balanol, its chemically altered analogs, and their interactions with PKA in particular are used to illuminate the roles of selectivity and protein flexibility in the inhibition of kinases. For instance, the X-ray crystal structure of balanol in complex with PKA was used in order to confer selectivity and to improve pharmacological efficacy of inhibitors of the H. sapiens Akt ( PKB), another serine/threonine protein kinase implicated in the proper functioning of many cellular processes.