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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2011;288:185-225. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386041-5.00005-4.

Focal adhesion kinase: exploring Fak structure to gain insight into function.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) are closely related nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases. FAK can regulate cell proliferation, survival, and motility, and plays an essential role in development. Pyk2 shares some functions with FAK but is a nonessential gene product during development. Recent discoveries related to FAK and Pyk2 structure have provided important insights into the regulatory mechanisms of catalytic activity, molecular basis of assembly of signaling complexes, and the transmission of downstream signals. This chapter reviews these advances in FAK/Pyk2 structure/function, compares and contrasts features of these kinases, and discusses new drug discoveries in the context of molecular structure.

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