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Role of Pyk2 in Human Cancers

Ting Shen, Qiang Guo

Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, Yunnan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8172-8182

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.913479

Available online:

Published: 2018-11-14

ABSTRACT: Proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) plays essential roles in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Pyk2 serves as a non-receptor tyrosine kinase regulating tumor cell survival, proliferation, migration, invasion, metastasis, and chemo-resistance, and is associated with poor prognosis and shortened survival in various cancer types. Thus, Pyk2 has been traditionally regarded as an oncogene and potential therapeutic target for cancers. However, a few studies have also demonstrated that Pyk2 exerts tumor-suppressive effects in some cancers, and anti-cancer treatment of Pyk2 inhibitors may only achieve marginal benefits in these cancers. Therefore, more detailed knowledge of the contradictory functions of Pyk2 is needed. In this review, we summarized the tissue distribution, expression, interactive molecules of Pyk2 in the signaling pathway, and roles of Pyk2 in cancers, and focused on regulation of the interconnectivity between Pyk2 and its downstream targets. The potential use of inhibitors of Pyk2 and its related pathways in cancer therapy is also discussed.

Keywords: Breast Neoplasms, Cell Migration Assays, Focal Adhesion Kinase 2, Neoplasm Invasiveness