Oral cancer malignancy consists of uncontrolled division of cells primarily in and around the floor of the oral cavity, gingiva, oropharynx, lower lip and base of the tongue. According to GLOBOCAN 2012 report, oral cancer is one of the most common cancers among males and females in India. Even though significant advancements have been made in the field of oral cancer treatment modalities, the overall prognosis for the patients has not improved in the past few decades and hence, this demands a new thrust for the identification of novel therapeutic targets in oral cancer. p21 Activated Kinases (PAKs) are potential therapeutic targets that are involved in numerous physiological functions. PAKs are serine-threonine kinases and they serve as important regulators of cytoskeletal dynamics and cell motility, transcription through MAP kinase cascades, death and survival signalling, and cell-cycle progression. Although PAKs are known to play crucial roles in cancer progression, the role and clinical significance of PAKs in oral cancer remains poorly understood.
Our results suggest that PAK1 is over-expressed in oral cancer cell lines. Stimulation of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) cells with serum growth factors leads to PAK1 re-localization and might cause a profound cytoskeletal remodelling. PAK1 was also found to be involved in the invasion, migration and cytoskeletal remodelling of OSCC cells.
Our study revealed that PAK1 may play a crucial role in the progression of OSCC. Studying the role of PAK1 and its substrates is likely to enhance our understanding of oral carcinogenesis and potential therapeutic value of PAKs in oral cancer.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Parvathy, M., Sreeja, S., Kumar, R., & Pillai, M. R. (2016). Potential role of p21 Activated Kinase 1 (PAK1) in the invasion and motility of oral cancer cells.. BMC Cancer, 16 (suppl.1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-016-2263-8