The Role of Integrin-Linked Kinase in Cancer Development and Progression



Integrin-Linked Kinase (ILK) is a multifunctional intracellular effector of cell-extracellular matrix interactions. ILK is a central component of focal adhesions and regulates many cellular processes critical for cancer progression, including proliferation, survival, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis. The activity and expression of ILK are controlled by a network of intracellular and intercellular processes that result in aberrant ILK expression and signaling in many human malignancies. While the causes of pathologic ILK expression may be varied and remain to be fully elucidated, accumulating evidence supports the targeting of ILK for therapeutic intervention in cancer. Currently, agents designed to interfere with aberrant ILK expression and activity are being evaluated in preclinical models. Interrogation of the ILK interactome using cutting-edge proteomic strategies is also uncovering novel interactions and cellular functions of ILK that may have important implications for the development of effective agents for cancer therapy.


Integrin-linked kinase extracellular matrix focal adhesion cancer therapeutic target proliferation survival migration invasion angiogenesis epithelial-mesenchymal transition 



This research was funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Terry Fox Foundation and the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance with special funding support from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Cancer Research Society.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cancer GeneticsBritish Columbia Cancer Agency, BC Cancer Research CentreVancouverCanada

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