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FAK is a tyrosine kinase enzyme demonstrated to play an important regulatory role in several basic cellular activities. Scientific evidence have suggested that FAK possessing a central position in the integrin signaling cascade, is responsible, at least in part, for the modulation of cellular proliferation, protection from apoptosis, adhesion, spreading and migration. The role of FAK in the development of different species, including human, is under study. Various published data supported the role of the molecule in the development of the placenta, as well as of several organ systems, like the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, genitourinary and respiratory organ systems. Additionally, FAK has been shown to be implicated in the pathophysiology of pregnancy related disorders and congenital neonatal diseases and defects. The purpose of this article is a comprehensive review of the existing literature with a view to the future and the potential conclusions that can be drawn by the study of FAK signaling on the events of early life and species development.


Nikolaos A Chatzizacharias, Gregory P Kouraklis, Stamatios E Theocharis. The role of focal adhesion kinase in early development. Histology and histopathology. 2010 Aug;25(8):1039-55

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PMID: 20552554

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