The Abelson (ABL) tyrosine kinases were identified as drivers of leukemia in mice and humans. Emerging data has shown a role for the ABL family kinases, ABL1 and ABL2, in the progression of several solid tumors. This review will focus on recent reports of the involvement of the ABL kinases in tumor progression using mouse models as well as recent data generated from genomic and proteomic studies linking enhanced expression and hyper-activation of the ABL kinases to some human cancers. Preclinical studies on small molecule inhibitors of the ABL kinases suggest that their use may have beneficial effects for the treatment of selected solid tumors.
Keywords: ABL; cancer; leukemia; metabolism; metastasis; therapy resistance.