Anaplastic lymphoma kinase: Role in cancer and therapy perspective

Zhihong Zhao, Vivek Verma, Mutian Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is correlated with oncogenesis in different types of cancers, such as anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lung cancer, neuroblastoma, and even breast cancer, by abnormal fusion of ALK or non-fusion ALK activation. ALK is a receptor tyrosine kinase, with a single transmembrane domain, that plays an important role in development. Upon ligand binding to the extracellular domain, the receptor undergoes dimerization and subsequent autophosphorylation of the intracellular kinase domain. In recent years, ALK inhibitors have been developed for cancer treatment. These inhibitors target ALK activity and show effectiveness in ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. However, acquired treatment resistance makes the future of this therapy unclear; new strategies are underway to overcome the limitations of current ALK inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1701
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015


  • anaplastic lymphoma kinase
  • cancer
  • inhibitor
  • resistance
  • therapy
  • tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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