Inserm U 563, Centre de physiopathologie de Toulouse-Purpan, Département oncogenèse et signalisation dans les cellules hématopoïétiques, CHU Purpan, BP 3028, 31024 Toulouse Cedex 3
- Key words: ALK, lymphoma, tyrosine kinase, signal transduction
- Page(s) : 265-76
- Published in: 2005
The anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene (ALK), coding for a receptor tyrosine kinase, was initially identified through its involvement in the t(2;5)(p23;q35) chromosomal translocation associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This translocation creates a chimeric and constitutively activated tyrosine kinase, NPM-ALK, with oncogenic properties. In this review, the expression pattern of the wild type ALK receptor and chimeric NPM-ALK together with signalling pathways involved are discussed. The expression of ALK fusion proteins in majority of ALCLs has greatly contributed to their recognition as a distinct entity defined on morphological, cytogenetical and phenotypical features. Current treatment methods of ALCL, based on various combination of chemotherapy protocols, would be improved by the development of new strategies namely, the screening of specific ALK inhibitors, since 85% of ALCLs are positive for this oncogenic tyrosine kinase.