Focal Adhesion Kinase and the MAPK pathway

  • #1

Summary:

How exactly does FAK influence the MAPK pathway?

Main Question or Discussion Point

1592014363729.png

The above image (source) is pretty much the only thing we're told about how the MAPK pathway is activated. However, in passing, FAK was mentioned. We were told that focal adhesion integrins activate FAK which then activates the MAPK pathway. Seen in the image (source) below
1592014555948.png


However the two images seem very contradictory. Not only that, but if you Ctrl-F for "fak" or "focal adhesion kinase" on MAPL/ERK pathway (wiki), NOTHING comes up!? On the FAK wiki page "MAPK" isn't mentioned, and "mitogen" is vaguely mentioned in a way that is difficult for me (2nd year biomedicine) to fully understand.

I don't see how FAK can fit into the model I learnt in the first image above. I've seen many answers to this but they're all vague and seem to contradict one another.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ygggdrasil
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In biology, signal transduction is a very complicated subject and all signaling pathways can have a number of different inputs and outputs. The first image you present is a very simplified model for EGFR signaling showing how activation of the EGF receptor leads to downstream activation of MAP kinases. However, EGFR is not the only signal that can activate MAP kinase pathways. Indeed, there a number of different MAP kinases in cells, so of course there will be different inputs and outputs for distinct MAP kinases. For example, here's an image from a review that emphasizes the different inputs/outputs of different MAPK pathways inside of cells:
1592016236425.png

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167488910003228

Most diagrams presented in biology textbooks and papers will be simplifications that don't capture everything that occurs in reality. Also, I have found that for more advanced topics in biology, Wikipedia is not the best resource as it can often be out of date. The best resource for looking more information on MAPK or FAK signaling pathways would be to look up primary research articles or reviews published in scientific journals.
 
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  • #3
You didn't mention FAK at all other than to direct me to go read articles and journals that I don't comprehend in the slightest, I told you I'm only a 2nd year undergraduate student (with low marks). I tried reading many articles and journals but 99.99999% of the information there is useless for me as they say nothing about how FAK is connected to MAPKKK and the terms are all specialised and confusing and I don't have a lifetime to find the answer to this 1 question.
The image you provided does not have FAK on it, hence it's utterly useless for me.

Once again, I ask: How exactly does FAK activate the MAPK pathway? What does FAK bind, what does that then lead to, etc.

Please just tell me in simple straight-to-the-point terms exactly how FAK is connected to the MAPK pathway.
 

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