KANK family proteins in cancer

Ana Tadijan, Ivana Samaržija, Jonathan D Humphries, Martin J Humphries, Andreja Ambriović-Ristov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Kank (kidney or KN motif and ankyrin repeat domain-containing) family of proteins has been described as essential for crosstalk between actin and microtubules. Kank1, 2, 3 and 4 arose by gene duplication and diversification and share conserved structural domains. KANK proteins are localised mainly to the plasma membrane in focal adhesions, indirectly affecting RhoA and Rac1 thus regulating actin cytoskeleton. In addition, Kank proteins are part of the cortical microtubule stabilisation complex regulating microtubules. Most of the data have been collected for Kank1 protein whose expression promotes apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest while Kank3 was identified as hypoxia-inducible proapoptotic target of p53. A discrepancy in Kanks role in regulation of cell migration and sensitivity to antitumour drugs has been observed in different cell models. Since expression of Kank1 and 3 correlate positively with tumour progression and patient outcome, at least in some tumour types, they are candidates for tumour suppressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105903
JournalThe International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Early online date10 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2020


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