New concepts regarding focal adhesion kinase promotion of cell migration and proliferation

J Cell Biochem. 2006 Sep 1;99(1):35-52. doi: 10.1002/jcb.20956.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase that plays a key role in the regulation of proliferation and migration of normal and tumor cells. FAK associates with integrin receptors and recruits other molecules to the site of this interaction thus forming a signaling complex that transmits signals from the extracellular matrix to the cell cytoskeleton. Crk-associated substrate (CAS) family members appear to play a pivotal role in FAK regulation of cell migration. Cellular Src bound to FAK phosphorylates CAS proteins leading to the recruitment of a Crk family adaptor molecule and activation of a small GTPase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) promoting membrane protrusion and cell migration. The relocalization of CAS and signaling through specific CAS family members appears to determine the outcome of this pathway. FAK also plays an important role in regulating cell cycle progression through transcriptional control of the cyclin D1 promoter by the Ets B and Kruppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) transcription factors. FAK regulation of cell cycle progression in tumor cells requires Erk activity, cyclin D1 transcription, and the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1. The ability of FAK to integrate integrin and growth factor signals resulting in synergistic promotion of cell migration and proliferation, and its potential regulation by nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB) and p53 and a ubiquitously expressed inhibitory protein, suggest that it is remarkable in its capacity to integrate multiple extracellular and intracellular stimuli.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Crk-Associated Substrate Protein / metabolism
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / chemistry*
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • src Homology Domains
  • src-Family Kinases / metabolism


  • Bcar1 protein, mouse
  • Crk-Associated Substrate Protein
  • Cyclin D1
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Serine
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • src-Family Kinases