The overall goal of our research is to define the role of tyrosine kinase signaling networks in the regulation of “intercellular conversations” during normal development, tissue homeostasis, and in pathological conditions including cancer and inflammation. Specifically, we focus on the role of the Abl family of tyrosine kinases, Abl1 and Abl2 (Arg), and associated actin regulatory proteins in diverse cellular processes leading to changes in cell morphology, 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 (integrins and cadherins), and chemokine receptors (Figure 1).
Oncogenic activation of Abl was first demonstrated in human leukemias, but accumulating data suggest that Abl kinases may also play a role in the progression of solid tumors. Recently, a role for Abl kinases in the regulation of immune cell function and inflammation has been identified.