Anaplastic lymphoma kinase: signalling in development and disease

Biochem J. 2009 May 27;420(3):345-61. doi: 10.1042/BJ20090387.

Abstract

RTKs (receptor tyrosine kinases) play important roles in cellular proliferation and differentiation. In addition, RTKs reveal oncogenic potential when their kinase activities are constitutively enhanced by point mutation, amplification or rearrangement of the corresponding genes. The ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) RTK was originally identified as a member of the insulin receptor subfamily of RTKs that acquires transforming capability when truncated and fused to NPM (nucleophosmin) in the t(2;5) chromosomal rearrangement associated with ALCL (anaplastic large cell lymphoma). To date, many chromosomal rearrangements leading to enhanced ALK activity have been described and are implicated in a number of cancer types. Recent reports of the EML4 (echinoderm microtubule-associated protein like 4)-ALK oncoprotein in NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer), together with the identification of activating point mutations in neuroblastoma, have highlighted ALK as a significant player and target for drug development in cancer. In the present review we address the role of ALK in development and disease and discuss implications for the future.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / pathology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Signal Transduction*

Substances

  • EML4-ALK fusion protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • nucleophosmin
  • ALK protein, human
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases