p21-activated kinases in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Jun;6(6):459-71. doi: 10.1038/nrc1892.


The pivotal role of kinases in signal transduction and cellular regulation has lent them considerable appeal as pharmacological targets across a broad spectrum of cancers. p21-activated kinases (Paks) are serine/threonine kinases that function as downstream nodes for various oncogenic signalling pathways. Paks are well-known regulators of cytoskeletal remodelling and cell motility, but have recently also been shown to promote cell proliferation, regulate apoptosis and accelerate mitotic abnormalities, which results in tumour formation and cell invasiveness. Alterations in Pak expression have been detected in human tumours, which makes them an attractive new therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Movement
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • p21-Activated Kinases


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • p21-Activated Kinases