P21-activated kinase in inflammatory and cardiovascular disease

Domenico M. Taglieri, Masuko Ushio-Fukai, Michelle M. Monasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


P-21 activated kinases, or PAKs, are serine-threonine kinases that serve a role in diverse biological functions and organ system diseases. Although PAK signaling has been the focus of many investigations, still our understanding of the role of PAK in inflammation is incomplete. This review consolidates what is known about PAK1 across several cell types, highlighting the role of PAK1 and PAK2 in inflammation in relation to NADPH oxidase activation. This review explores the physiological functions of PAK during inflammation, the role of PAK in several organ diseases with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease, and the PAK signaling pathway, including activators and targets of PAK. Also, we discuss PAK1 as a pharmacological anti-inflammatory target, explore the potentials and the limitations of the current pharmacological tools to regulate PAK1 activity during inflammation, and provide indications for future research. We conclude that a vast amount of evidence supports the idea that PAK is a central molecule in inflammatory signaling, thus making PAK1 itself a promising prospective pharmacological target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2060-2069
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cardiac
  • Cell migration
  • Cytoskeletal dynamics
  • NADPH oxidase
  • PAK1
  • PAK2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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