Janus tyrosine kinase (JAK) family of proteins have been identified as crucial proteins in signal transduction initiated by a wide range of membrane receptors. Among the proteins in this family JAK2 has been associated with important downstream proteins, including signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), which in turn regulate the expression of a variety of proteins involved in induction or prevention of apoptosis. Therefore, the JAK/STAT signaling axis plays a major role in the proliferation and survival of different cancer cells, and may even be involved in resistance mechanisms against molecularly targeted drugs. Despite extensive research focused on the protein structure and mechanisms of activation of JAKs, and signal transduction through these proteins, their importance in cancer initiation and progression seem to be underestimated. This manuscript is an attempt to highlight the role of JAK proteins in cancer biology, the most recent developments in targeting JAKs, and the central role they play in intracellular cross-talks with other signaling cascades.
Bousoik E, Montazeri Aliabadi H. “Do we know jack” about JAK? A closer look at JAK/STAT signaling pathway. Front. Oncol. 2018;8:287. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00287
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