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Signal Transduction via Protein Tyrosine Kinase ReceptorsStructures, Function, Regulation, Mechanisms and Role in Disease
Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, Sweden
Regulation of growth, survival, differentiation and migration of cells involves responses to signals the cells receive from their environment. Important signals come from soluble growth factors which often bind to and activate protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) receptors. There are 58 such receptors in humans, all of which have important functions... read moreduring the embryonal development, as well as in e.g. wound healing in the adult. In addition, overactivity of PTK receptors is also implicated in certain diseases, including fibrotic conditions, atherosclerosis and malignant diseases.
It is particularly interesting to note that more than half of the PTK receptors have been implicated in human cancer; either PTK receptors or their ligands have been found to be aberrantly expressed in cancer, or they are constitutively activated through mutations. Therefore, a lot of effort is put in to the development of PTK receptor antagonists to be used clinically in the treatment of disease. The first examples of this type of modern specific drugs are already being used for treatment of certain cancers (Gleevec, Iressa etc.)
The aim of this series of talks is to describe the known families of PTK receptors, as well as their structures, regulation, signaling mechanisms, normal function and role in disease.