The overall goal of our research is to define the role of tyrosine kinase signaling networks in the regulation of “intercellular conversations” in pathological conditions including cancer metastasis and tissue injury and regeneration. Specifically, we focus on the role of the ABL family of tyrosine kinases, ABL1 and ABL2 (Arg), and downstream transcription networks in cellular processes required for cell motility, invasion, adhesion, as well as cell growth and survival. The ABL family kinases are activated downstream of multiple Receptor Tyrosine Kinases (RTKs), adhesion receptors, chemokine receptors, as well as oxidative and metabolic stress (Figure diagram).
Oncogenic activation of ABL was first demonstrated in human leukemias, but accumulating data suggest that Abl kinases may also play a role in solid tumor progression and metastasis. Unexpectedly, we have recently uncovered a role for ABL kinases in the response to lung injury and regeneration. Representative areas of the research in our laboratory are described below.