The Crk family of adaptor proteins (CrkI, CrkII, and CrkL), originally discovered as the oncogene fusion product, v-Crk, of the CT10 chicken retrovirus, lacks catalytic activity but engages with multiple signaling pathways through their SH2 and SH3 domains. Crk proteins link upstream tyrosine kinase and integrin-dependent signals to downstream effectors, acting as adaptors in diverse signaling pathways and cellular processes. Crk proteins are now recognized to play a role in the malignancy of many human cancers, stimulating renewed interest in their mechanism of action in cancer progression. The contribution of Crk signaling to malignancy has been predominantly studied in fibroblasts and in hematopoietic models and more recently in epithelial models. A mechanistic understanding of Crk proteins in cancer progression in vivo is still poorly understood in part due to the highly pleiotropic nature of Crk signaling. Recent advances in the structural organization of Crk domains, new roles in kinase regulation, and increased knowledge of the mechanisms and frequency of Crk overexpression in human cancers have provided an incentive for further study in in vivo models. An understanding of the mechanisms through which Crk proteins act as oncogenic drivers could have important implications in therapeutic targeting.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research