Death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) and signal transduction: regulation in cancer

FEBS J. 2010 Jan;277(1):74-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07414.x. Epub 2009 Oct 30.


Death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) is a pro-apoptotic serine/threonine protein kinase that is dysregulated in a wide variety of cancers. The mechanism by which this occurs has largely been attributed to promoter hypermethylation, which results in gene silencing. However, recent studies indicate that DAPK expression can be detected in some cancers, but its function is still repressed, suggesting that DAPK activity can be subverted at a post-translational level in cancer cells. This review will focus on recent data describing potential mechanisms that may alter the expression, regulation or function of DAPK.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / physiology*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Death-Associated Protein Kinases
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Death-Associated Protein Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases