Protein Kinase B/AKT and Focal Adhesion Kinase: Two Close Signaling Partners in Cancer

Author(s): Shouye Wang, Marc D. Basson

Journal Name: Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents)

Volume 11 , Issue 10 , 2011

Become EABM
Become Reviewer


AKT (or protein kinase B) and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) are two important kinases that regulate various cellular functions. Each is overexpressed and/or aberrantly activated in diverse cancers. Several small molecular inhibitors targeting either AKT or FAK are in development or in clinical trials. It is well established that FAK is an upstream regulator of AKT signaling pathway in various cancer cell lines and in xenograft tumor models. However, very recent reports from our laboratory and others demonstrate that AKT can also directly regulate FAK through direct association and serine phosphorylation. This indicates that AKT and FAK may be dual therapeutic targets for pharmacologic intervention in the treatment of primary and metastatic cancer. FAK-AKT interaction is particularly critical for metastatic adhesion. We review recent developments in AKT and FAK signaling in cancer with the particular emphasis on the novel signaling pathways in which FAK is downstream of AKT. We also provide an update on inhibitors targeting AKT or FAK currently in clinical trials.

Keywords: AKT, AKT1, AKT2, cancer, cancer metastasis, cell signaling, differentiation, FAK, FERM, invasion, isoform, migration, proliferation, Src

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2011
Page: [993 - 1002]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/187152011797927661
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 20