Focal adhesion kinase: in command and control of cell motility

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Jan;6(1):56-68. doi: 10.1038/nrm1549.


A central question in cell biology is how membrane-spanning receptors transmit extracellular signals inside cells to modulate cell adhesion and motility. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a crucial signalling component that is activated by numerous stimuli and functions as a biosensor or integrator to control cell motility. Through multifaceted and diverse molecular connections, FAK can influence the cytoskeleton, structures of cell adhesion sites and membrane protrusions to regulate cell movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology
  • Paxillin
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Retinoblastoma-Like Protein p130


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • PXN protein, human
  • Paxillin
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • Retinoblastoma-Like Protein p130
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • PTK2 protein, human