. 2019 Nov; 11(11):1683.
doi: 10.3390/cancers11111683.

Role of Focal Adhesion Kinase in Small-Cell Lung Cancer and Its Potential as a Therapeutic Target

Frank Aboubakar Nana 1 Marie Vanderputten 2 Sebahat Ocak 3 
  • PMID: 31671774
  •     272 References
  •     8 citations


Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents 15% of all lung cancers and it is clinically the most aggressive type, being characterized by a tendency for early metastasis, with two-thirds of the patients diagnosed with an extensive stage (ES) disease and a five-year overall survival (OS) as low as 5%. There are still no effective targeted therapies in SCLC despite improved understanding of the molecular steps leading to SCLC development and progression these last years. After four decades, the only modest improvement in OS of patients suffering from ES-SCLC has recently been shown in a trial combining atezolizumab, an anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, with carboplatin and etoposide, chemotherapy agents. This highlights the need to pursue research efforts in this field. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase that is overexpressed and activated in several cancers, including SCLC, and contributing to cancer progression and metastasis through its important role in cell proliferation, survival, adhesion, spreading, migration, and invasion. FAK also plays a role in tumor immune evasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, DNA damage repair, radioresistance, and regulation of cancer stem cells. FAK is of particular interest in SCLC, being known for its aggressiveness. The inhibition of FAK in SCLC cell lines demonstrated significative decrease in cell proliferation, invasion, and migration, and induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In this review, we will focus on the role of FAK in cancer cells and their microenvironment, and its potential as a therapeutic target in SCLC.

Keywords: focal adhesion kinase; small-cell lung cancer; targeted therapy.

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J Biol Chem, 2004 Feb 13; 279(13). PMID: 14960578
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Yu Kang, Wei Hu, +16 authors, Anil K Sood.
J Natl Cancer Inst, 2013 Sep 26; 105(19). PMID: 24062525    Free PMC article.
Focal adhesion kinase is required for blood vessel morphogenesis.
Dusko Ilic, Branka Kovacic, +4 authors, Caroline H Damsky.
Circ Res, 2003 Feb 22; 92(3). PMID: 12595342
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Br J Cancer, 2007 Aug 02; 97(3). PMID: 17667909    Free PMC article.
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Ann Oncol, 2016 Oct 14; 27(12). PMID: 27733373
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J Cell Biochem, 2011 Sep 23; 113(2). PMID: 21938739
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M Oktay, K K Wary, +2 authors, F G Giancotti.
J Cell Biol, 1999 Jun 29; 145(7). PMID: 10385525    Free PMC article.
Making the first move in EGFR-driven or ALK-driven NSCLC: first-generation or next-generation TKI?
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Nat Rev Clin Oncol, 2018 Aug 16; 15(11). PMID: 30108370
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Focal adhesion kinase controls cellular levels of p27/Kip1 and p21/Cip1 through Skp2-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Patrick Bryant, Qingxia Zheng, Kevin Pumiglia.
Mol Cell Biol, 2006 May 18; 26(11). PMID: 16705171    Free PMC article.
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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther, 2008 Aug 14; 8(8). PMID: 18699763
Focal adhesion kinase signaling in unexpected places.
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Phase I Study of the Focal Adhesion Kinase Inhibitor BI 853520 in Japanese and Taiwanese Patients with Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors.
Toshihiko Doi, James Chih-Hsin Yang, +6 authors, Chia-Chi Lin.
Target Oncol, 2019 Feb 07; 14(1). PMID: 30725402    Free PMC article.
IL-33 and ST2 mediate FAK-dependent antitumor immune evasion through transcriptional networks.
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Sci Signal, 2017 Dec 07; 10(508). PMID: 29208683    Free PMC article.
Tyrosine phosphorylation of paxillin and pp125FAK accompanies cell adhesion to extracellular matrix: a role in cytoskeletal assembly.
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Argonaute2 promotes tumor metastasis by way of up-regulating focal adhesion kinase expression in hepatocellular carcinoma.
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Hepatology, 2012 Dec 22; 57(5). PMID: 23258480
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Br J Cancer, 2007 Jun 07; 97(1). PMID: 17551499    Free PMC article.
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Biochim Biophys Acta, 2004 May 26; 1678(2-3). PMID: 15157737
Tumor-initiating stem cells of squamous cell carcinomas and their control by TGF-β and integrin/focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling.
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Up-regulation of focal adhesion kinase in non-small cell lung cancer.
Stephana Carelli, Giorgia Zadra, +6 authors, Silvano Bosari.
Lung Cancer, 2006 Jul 18; 53(3). PMID: 16842883
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Edward B Garon, Naiyer A Rizvi, +25 authors, KEYNOTE-001 Investigators.
N Engl J Med, 2015 Apr 22; 372(21). PMID: 25891174
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Focal adhesion kinase overexpression: correlation with lymph node metastasis and shorter survival in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Juan Carlos de Vicente, Pablo Rosado, +3 authors, Gonzalo Hernández-Vallejo.
Head Neck, 2012 Jul 19; 35(6). PMID: 22807117
Pazopanib maintenance after first-line etoposide and platinum chemotherapy in patients with extensive disease small-cell lung cancer: a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase II study (KCSG-LU12-07).
Jong-Mu Sun, Ki Hyeong Lee, +9 authors, Myung-Ju Ahn.
Br J Cancer, 2018 Jan 31; 118(5). PMID: 29381690    Free PMC article.
The FAK inhibitor BI 853520 exerts anti-tumor effects in breast cancer.
Stefanie Tiede, Nathalie Meyer-Schaller, +10 authors, Gerhard Christofori.
Oncogenesis, 2018 Sep 22; 7(9). PMID: 30237500    Free PMC article.
Nanog increases focal adhesion kinase (FAK) promoter activity and expression and directly binds to FAK protein to be phosphorylated.
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J Biol Chem, 2012 Apr 12; 287(22). PMID: 22493428    Free PMC article.
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Nat Med, 2014 Jun 02; 20(8). PMID: 24880617
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Oral delivery of PND-1186 FAK inhibitor decreases tumor growth and spontaneous breast to lung metastasis in pre-clinical models.
Colin Walsh, Isabelle Tanjoni, +9 authors, David D Schlaepfer.
Cancer Biol Ther, 2010 Mar 18; 9(10). PMID: 20234193    Free PMC article.
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J Cell Sci, 1999 Jul 22; 112 ( Pt 16). PMID: 10413676
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Focal adhesion kinase overexpression and its impact on human osteosarcoma.
Ke Ren, Xiao Lu, +8 authors, Xiaoliang Sun.
Oncotarget, 2015 Sep 24; 6(31). PMID: 26393679    Free PMC article.
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Cancer Cell, 2011 Nov 19; 20(5). PMID: 22094253    Free PMC article.
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Small molecule chloropyramine hydrochloride (C4) targets the binding site of focal adhesion kinase and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 and suppresses breast cancer growth in vivo.
Elena V Kurenova, Darell L Hunt, +3 authors, William G Cance.
J Med Chem, 2009 Jul 21; 52(15). PMID: 19610651    Free PMC article.
Expression of focal adhesion kinase in uveal melanoma and the effects of Hsp90 inhibition by 17-AAG.
Dana Faingold, Vasco Bravo Filho, +5 authors, Miguel N Burnier.
Pathol Res Pract, 2014 Jul 22; 210(11). PMID: 25041838
A study of the focal adhesion kinase inhibitor GSK2256098 in patients with recurrent glioblastoma with evaluation of tumor penetration of [11C]GSK2256098.
Nicholas F Brown, Matthew Williams, +14 authors, Paul Mulholland.
Neuro Oncol, 2018 May 23; 20(12). PMID: 29788497    Free PMC article.
Endothelial-cell FAK targeting sensitizes tumours to DNA-damaging therapy.
Bernardo Tavora, Louise E Reynolds, +13 authors, Kairbaan M Hodivala-Dilke.
Nature, 2014 Aug 01; 514(7520). PMID: 25079333    Free PMC article.
Distinct FAK activities determine progenitor and mammary stem cell characteristics.
Ming Luo, Xiaofeng Zhao, +3 authors, Jun-Lin Guan.
Cancer Res, 2013 Jul 09; 73(17). PMID: 23832665    Free PMC article.
High focal adhesion kinase expression in invasive breast carcinomas is associated with an aggressive phenotype.
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PIAS1-FAK Interaction Promotes the Survival and Progression of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Jerfiz D Constanzo, Ke-Jing Tang, +6 authors, Pier Paolo Scaglioni.
Neoplasia, 2016 May 31; 18(5). PMID: 27237320    Free PMC article.
Fibronectin extra domain A (EDA) sustains CD133(+)/CD44(+) subpopulation of colorectal cancer cells.
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Stem Cell Res, 2013 Jul 03; 11(2). PMID: 23811539    Free PMC article.
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Prognostic Value of Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) in Human Solid Carcinomas: A Meta-Analysis.
Xiao-Qing Zeng, Na Li, +3 authors, Shi-Yao Chen.
PLoS One, 2016 Sep 17; 11(9). PMID: 27637100    Free PMC article.
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N Engl J Med, 2009 Oct 09; 361(15). PMID: 19812404
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Cancer Cell Int, 2018 Jun 23; 18. PMID: 29930482    Free PMC article.
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Cancer Biomark, 2015 Mar 21; 15(4). PMID: 25792471
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Nat Cell Biol, 2004 Jan 27; 6(2). PMID: 14743221
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Cancer-FOXP3 directly activated CCL5 to recruit FOXP3+Treg cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
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Oncogene, 2016 Dec 20; 36(21). PMID: 27991933    Free PMC article.
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BMC Cancer, 2018 Dec 24; 18(1). PMID: 30572845    Free PMC article.
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Trends Cancer, 2016 Apr 01; 2(4). PMID: 28741567
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Mol Biol Cell, 2001 Dec 12; 12(12). PMID: 11739801    Free PMC article.
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Nat Cell Biol, 2000 Feb 03; 2(2). PMID: 10655586
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Role of expression of focal adhesion kinase in progression of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Shinji Itoh, Takashi Maeda, +4 authors, Yoshihiko Maehara.
Clin Cancer Res, 2004 Apr 23; 10(8). PMID: 15102689
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Oncogene, 2002 Dec 17; 21(57). PMID: 12483521
DNA copy number aberrations in small-cell lung cancer reveal activation of the focal adhesion pathway.
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Oncogene, 2010 Aug 31; 29(48). PMID: 20802517    Free PMC article.
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J Biol Chem, 2002 Feb 13; 277(15). PMID: 11839732
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J Clin Invest, 2016 Apr 12; 126(5). PMID: 27064283    Free PMC article.
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Krüppel-like factor 8 induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition and epithelial cell invasion.
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Cancer Res, 2007 Aug 03; 67(15). PMID: 17671186
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Int J Radiat Biol, 2004 Jan 06; 79(9). PMID: 14703945
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Focal adhesion kinase and E-cadherin as markers for nodal metastasis in laryngeal cancer.
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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2007 Feb 21; 133(2). PMID: 17309983
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Clin Cancer Res, 2000 Jun 29; 6(6). PMID: 10873094
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pFAK-Y397 overexpression as both a prognostic and a predictive biomarker for patients with metastatic osteosarcoma.
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PLoS One, 2017 Aug 29; 12(8). PMID: 28846700    Free PMC article.
The FAK inhibitor BI 853520 inhibits spheroid formation and orthotopic tumor growth in malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Viktoria Laszlo, Zsuzsanna Valko, +14 authors, Balazs Hegedus.
J Mol Med (Berl), 2018 Dec 13; 97(2). PMID: 30539198    Free PMC article.
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J Korean Med Sci, 2004 Oct 16; 19(5). PMID: 15483349    Free PMC article.
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Focal adhesion kinase and Wnt signaling regulate human ductal carcinoma in situ stem cell activity and response to radiotherapy.
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J Cell Biol, 2014 Jan 22; 204(2). PMID: 24446483    Free PMC article.
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Highly Cited. Review.
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Integrin signaling through FAK in the regulation of mammary stem cells and breast cancer.
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IUBMB Life, 2010 Jan 27; 62(4). PMID: 20101634    Free PMC article.
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Highly Cited. Review.
FAK overexpression and p53 mutations are highly correlated in human breast cancer.
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Use of Antiangiogenic Therapies in Pediatric Solid Tumors.
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High expression of PDGFA predicts poor prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
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