Emerging functions of p21-activated kinases in human cancer cells

Rakesh Kumar, Ratna K. Vadlamudi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

93 Scopus citations


The p21 activated kinases (Paks), an evolutionarily conserved family of serine/threonine kinases, are important for a variety of cellular functions including cell morphogenesis, motility, survival, mitosis, and angiogenesis. Paks are widely expressed in numerous tissues and are activated by growth factors and extracellular signals through GTPase-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Overexpression of Paks in epithelial cancer cells has been shown to increase migration potential, increase anchorage independent growth, and cause abnormalities in mitosis. Dysregulation of Paks has been reported in several human tumors and neurodegenerative diseases. A growing list of novel Pak interacting proteins has opened up exciting avenues of investigation by which to understand the functions of Paks in tumorigenesis. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the Paks family with respect to emerging cellular functions and possible contributions to cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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