Focal adhesions are cell junctions that act as mechanical linkages between the intracellular actin cytoskeleton of a live cell and the extracellular matrix (ECM). They have a wide functional scope. In this context Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) plays a pivotal role. FAK is often overexpressed in tumor cells and is partly responsible for the high tissue invasiveness of the infected cells. Now "small molecules" have been developed at the University of Konstanz, Germany, that interfere with the localization and thus with FAK functioning. Therefore, these molecules can be deployed in cancer treatment as well as in the prevention and treatment of restenosis via drug-eluting stents. The novel FAK inhibitors are highly effective, cell-penetrating, easy to sterilize and can be produced through chemically defined synthesis.
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