Signaling through focal adhesion kinase

Bioessays. 1997 Feb;19(2):137-45. doi: 10.1002/bies.950190208.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a nonreceptor protein-tyrosine kinase implicated in controlling cellular responses to the engagement of cell-surface integrins, including cell spreading and migration, survival and proliferation. Aberrant FAK signaling may contribute to the process of cell transformation by certain oncoproteins, including v-Src. Progress toward elucidating the events leading to FAK activation following integrin-mediated cell adhesion, as well as events downstream of FAK, has come through the identification of FAK phosphorylation sites and interacting proteins. A signaling partnership is formed between FAK and Src-family kinases, leading to tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK and associated 'docking' proteins Cas and paxillin. Subsequent recruitment of proteins containing Src homology 2 domains, including Grb2 and c-Crk, to the complex is likely to trigger adhesion-induced cellular responses, including changes to the actin cytoskeleton and activation of the Ras-MAP kinase pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Humans
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • PTK2 protein, human