Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 690690, 13 pages
Review Article

Emerging Roles of Focal Adhesion Kinase in Cancer

1Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
2Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City 25245, Taiwan
3Center for Biotechnology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Received 16 January 2015; Accepted 20 February 2015

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Hasegawa

Copyright © 2015 Yu-Ling Tai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a cytoplasmic nonreceptor tyrosine kinase that enables activation by growth factor receptors or integrins in various types of human cancers. The kinase-dependent and kinase-independent scaffolding functions of FAK modulate the authentic signaling and fundamental functions not only in cancer cells but also in tumor microenvironment to facilitate cancer progression and metastasis. The overexpression and activation of FAK are usually investigated in primary or metastatic cancers and correlated with the poor clinical outcome, highlighting FAK as a potential prognostic marker and anticancer target. Small molecule inhibitors targeting FAK kinase activity or FAK-scaffolding functions impair cancer development in preclinical or clinical trials. In this review, we give an overview for FAK signaling in cancer cells as well as tumor microenvironment that provides new strategies for the invention of cancer development and malignancy.