Tumor progression is strongly associated with the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and their intracellular signal transduction pathways, which regulate several cell functions including proliferation, apoptosis, motility, adhesion and angiogenesis. Detailed structural and functional studies of RTKs, including the stem cell factor receptor c-KIT, revealed the complexity of these receptor systems and contributed to development of targeted clinical approaches with relevance in both prognosis and therapy. C-KIT signaling network has been the subject of intense research and pharmaceutical strategies to identify novel target-based approaches for cancer treatment. Evidence that c-KIT signaling promotes cell proliferation and survival, along with the frequency in which this pathway is aberrantly activated in cancer, support the current efforts to identify approaches for its efficient inhibition. C-KIT mutations are associatied with several human malignancies, such as gastrointestinal stromal tumors, acute myeloid leukemia, mast cell leukemia, and melanoma.
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Stankov K, Popovic S, Mikov M. C-KIT signaling in cancer treatment[J]. Current pharmaceutical design, 2014, 20(17): 2849-2880.