Multifunctional Abl kinases in health and disease.
The Abelson tyrosine kinases were initially identified as drivers of leukemia in mice and humans. The Abl family kinases Abl1 and Abl2 regulate diverse cellular processes during development and normal homeostasis, and their functions are subverted during inflammation, cancer and other pathologies. Abl kinases can be activated by multiple stimuli leading to cytoskeletal reorganization required for cell morphogenesis, motility, adhesion and polarity. Depending on the cellular context, Abl kinases regulate cell survival and proliferation. Emerging data support important roles for Abl kinases in pathologies linked to inflammation. Among these are neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory pathologies. Unexpectedly, Abl kinases have also been identified as important players in mammalian host cells during microbial pathogenesis. Thus, the use of Abl kinase inhibitors might prove to be effective in the treatment of pathologies beyond leukemia and solid tumors. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and in the accompanying poster, we highlight the emerging roles of Abl kinases in the regulation of cellular processes in normal cells and diverse pathologies ranging from cancer to microbial pathogenesis.
Khatri, A; Wang, J; Pendergast, AM
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