“A peek into the next generation of Oncobiology Pathways Germane to the p21-activated Kinases”

Prof. Rakesh Kumar
National Chair in Cancer Research
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology

11th February, 2019
12:00 Noon

CDFD Seminar Hall,
3rd floor


A substantial proportion of cancer cell signaling depends on oncogenic p21-activated kinases (PAKs), a group of hyperactivated kinases in human cancer. Most of our understanding of PAK signaling in oncogenesis is largely derived from the cytoplasmic and nuclear functions of PAKs, phosphorylation of its substrates, and target downstream gene expression. However, in-spite of the first FDA approved PAK inhibitor in 2010, PAK-directed anti-cancer agents have not advanced to late-stage clinical studies. Our limited understanding of the cellular networks that could profoundly affect the PAK-Oncobiology represents one of the major barriers in our effort to making major gains towards developing effective PAK-directed cancer therapeutics. It is now clear that new strategy is required for further significant gains in effectively targeting these kinases in human cancer. In this context, using an integrated comprehensive approach, Kumar’s team now unearth a set of previously unknown components of PAK-network in human cancer. The lecture also will shade light about how such approaches could shape the future of PAKs in Oncobiology in the coming years. (Suggested reading: P21-activating Kinases in Cancer, Nature Review Cancer 6: 459- 462, 2006; PAK Signaling in Oncogenesis, Oncogene 28:2545-2555, 2009; PAKs in Human Cancer Progression – From Inception to Therapeutic Target to Future Oncobiology, Advances in Cancer Research 130:137-209, 2016; Structure, Expression and Functions of PAK Genes, GENE 605:20-31, 2017)