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Cell and Bioscience

, 6:56

First Online: 28 October 2016Received: 02 September 2016Accepted: 04 October 2016


The serine-threonine kinase MAP4K4 is a member of the Ste20p sterile 20 protein family. MAP4K4 was initially discovered in 1995 as a key kinase in the mating pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and was later found to be involved in many aspects of cell functions and many biological and pathological processes. The role of MAP4K4 in immunity, inflammation, metabolic and cardiovascular disease has been recognized. Information regarding MAP4K4 in cancers is extremely limited, but increasing evidence suggests that MAP4K4 also plays an important role in cancer and MAP4K4 may represent a novel actionable cancer therapeutic target. This review summarizes our current understanding of MAP4K4 regulation and MAP4K4 in cancer. MAP4K4-specific inhibitors have been recently developed. We hope that this review article would advocate more basic and preclinical research on MAP4K4 in cancer, which could ultimately provide biological and mechanistic justifications for preclinical and clinical test of MAP4K4 inhibitor in cancer patients.

KeywordsMAP4K4 Cancer Therapeutic target Signaling pathways AbbreviationsChIPchromatin immunoprecipitation

EGFepidermal growth factor

HGKhematopoietic progenitor kinase-germinal center kinase-like kinase

JNKJun amino-terminal kinases

MAP4K4mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4

MMPmatrix metalloproteinases

NIKNck interacting kinase

PYK2proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2

shRNAshort hairpin RNA

STAT3signal transducer and activator of transcription 3

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Autor: Xuan Gao - Chenxi Gao - Guoxiang Liu - Jing Hu


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