Current Cancer Drug Targets

Ruiwen Zhang 
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
1300 Coulter Drive
Amarillo, TX 79106
USA

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The Stem Cell Factor Receptor/c-Kit as a Drug Target in Cancer

Author(s): J. Lennartsson and L. Ronnstrand

Affiliation: Experimental Clinical Chemistry, Wallenberg Laboratory, Entrance 46, 5th floor, Malmo University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmo, Sweden.

Keywords: Stem cell factor, c-Kit, receptor tyrosine kinase, signal transduction, transformation, cancer, leukemia

Abstract:

Tyrosine phosphorylation has a key role in intracellular signaling. Inappropriate proliferation and survival cues in tumor cells often occur as a consequence of unregulated tyrosine kinase activity. Much of the current development of anti-cancer therapies tries to target causative proteins in a specific manner to minimize side-effects. One attractive group of target proteins is the kinases. c-Kit is a receptor tyrosine kinase that normally controls the function of primitive hematopoietic cells, melanocytes and germ cells. It has become clear that uncontrolled activity of c-Kit contributes to formation of an array of human tumors. The unregulated activity of c-Kit may be due to overexpression, autocrine loops or mutational activation. This makes c-Kit an excellent target for cancer therapies in these tumors. In this review we will highlight the current knowledge on the signal transduction molecules and pathways activated by c-Kit under normal conditions and in cancer cells, and the role of aberrant c-Kit signaling in cancer progression. Recent advances in the development of specific inhibitors interfering with these signal transduction pathways will be discussed.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 6
ISSUE: 1
Page: [65 - 75]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/156800906775471725