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Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2010 Dec;10(10):735-41.

Focal adhesion kinase as a cancer therapy target.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that resides at the sites of focal adhesions. The 125 kDa FAK protein is encoded by the FAK gene located on human chromosome 8q24. Structurally, FAK consists of an amino-terminal regulatory FERM domain, a central catalytic kinase domain, and a carboxy-terminal focal adhesion targeting domain. FAK has been shown to be an important mediator of cell adhesion, growth, proliferation, survival, angiogenesis and migration, all of which are often disrupted in cancer cells. Normal tissues have low expression of FAK, while primary and metastatic tumors significantly overexpress this protein. This review summarizes expression of FAK by immunohistochemical staining in different tumor types and presents several FAK inhibition therapy approaches.

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