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Le Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille fête ses 50 ans ! -

Dec 2018 Pharmacology & therapeutics

KIT as a therapeutic target for non-oncological diseases.


Martinez-Anton A, Gras D, Bourdin A, Dubreuil P


KIT is a receptor tyrosine kinase that after binding to its ligand stem cell factor activates signaling cascades linked to biological processes such as proliferation, differentiation, migration and cell survival. Based on studies performed on SCF and/or KIT mutant animals that presented anemia, sterility, and/or pigmentation disorders, KIT signaling was mainly considered to be involved in the regulation of hematopoiesis, gametogenesis, and melanogenesis. More recently, novel animal models and ameliorated cellular and molecular techniques have led to the discovery of a widen repertoire of tissue compartments and functions that are being modulated by KIT. This is the case for the lung, heart, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, kidney, liver, and bone. For this reason, the tyrosine kinase inhibitors that were originally developed for the treatment of hemato-oncological diseases are being currently investigated for the treatment of non-oncological disorders such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and alzheimer’s disease, among others. The beneficial effects of some of these tyrosine kinase inhibitors have been proven to depend on KIT inhibition. This review will focus on KIT expression and regulation in healthy and pathologic conditions other than cancer. Moreover, advances in the development of anti-KIT therapies, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and their application will be discussed.

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