Background: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) regulates multiple cellular processes including growth, differentiation, adhesion, motility, and apoptosis. In tumor cells, including prostate adenocarcinoma, FAK overexpression has been linked to cancer progression.
Methods: By using immunohistochemistry, FAK expression was investigated in human prostate specimens.
Results: FAK was expressed predominantly in the basal layer of normal prostate epithelium but not in secretory epithelium. FAK was expressed at similar levels in all stages of prostate tumorigenesis, including preinvasive carcinoma and metastatic disease. Elevated FAK expression was observed at the earliest stages of transformation and expression continued during cancer progression.
Conclusion: Given the established role for FAK in the regulation of integrin signaling, we suggest that the sustained elevated levels of FAK expression during prostate tumor cell progression is consistent with a role for FAK in the development and maintenance of prostate carcinoma.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.