Open Access
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase: activating mechanisms and signaling pathways
Marco Pizzi1,2,Marcello Gaudiano2,Maria Todaro2,3,Giorgio Inghirami2,3,4,5,*
Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology Unit, Department of Medicine-DIMED, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10021, USA
Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Science and Center for Experimental Research and Medical Studies (CeRMS), University of Torino, Torino, Italy
Department of Pathology and NYU Cancer Center, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA
European Research Initiative on ALK-related malignancies (ERIA)
DOI: 10.2741/S441 Volume 7 Issue 2, pp.283-305
Published: 01 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ALK: 20 years of discoveries)
*Corresponding Author(s):  
Giorgio Inghirami

The discovery of Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) by Stephan Morris and colleagues twenty years ago has led to an unprecedented opportunity and provided the basis for a novel and clinically powerful stratification of human cancers. The molecular and biological characterization of ALK and the recognition of alternative mechanisms of activation of the tyrosine kinase receptors have then set the basis for the development and the subsequent application of selective small molecules. These achievements have fostered a new era in oncology, and the result of this new avenue has drastically changed the expectation of many cancer patients. Here we review the mechanisms of ALK activation and the modalities that drive ALK pathogenesis.

Key words
Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, Signaling pathways, Oncogenic addiction, Review
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Marco Pizzi, Marcello Gaudiano, Maria Todaro, Giorgio Inghirami. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase: activating mechanisms and signaling pathways. Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar. 2015. 7(2); 283-305.