Role of p21-activated kinases in cardiovascular development and function

Mollie L. Kelly, Artyom Astsaturov, Jonathan Chernoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


p21-activated kinases (Paks) are a group of six serine/threonine kinases (Pak1-6) that are involved in a variety of biological processes. Recently, Paks, more specifically Pak1, -2, and -4, have been shown to play important roles in cardiovascular development and function in a range of model organisms including zebrafish and mice. These functions include proper morphogenesis and conductance of the heart, cardiac contractility, and development and integrity of the vasculature. The mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully known, but they likely differ among the various Pak isoforms and include both kinase-dependent and -independent functions. In this review, we discuss aspects of Pak function relevant to cardiovascular biology as well as potential therapeutic implications of small-molecule Pak inhibitors in cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4223-4228
Number of pages6
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Cardiovascular
  • Model organisms
  • Protein kinases
  • Signal transduction
  • Small GTPases


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