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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Feb;4(2):227-34.

Focal adhesion kinase as a potential target in oncology.

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Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories, Garscube Estate, Switchback Road, Glasgow, G61 1BD, Scotland, UK.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a pivotal role in signal transduction at integrin-linked cellular adhesions, which mediate cell contact with the extracellular matrix. It has been shown to play a role in the survival of anchorage-dependent cells and to be essential for integrin-linked cell migration - processes that are likely to play important roles in the development of malignancies. FAK is upregulated in a wide variety of human epithelial cancers, with expression being closely correlated to invasive potential. Recently, evidence has emerged directly linking FAK expression to tumour development in vivo, raising the possibility that intervention strategies to block FAK function may potentially provide an opportunity for the development of anticancer therapeutics.

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