A Potential Role for Integrin-Linked Kinase in Colorectal Cancer Growth and Progression via Regulating Senescence and Immunity

Saleh Hussain A Almasabi, Afsar U. Ahmed, Richard Boyd, Bryan R.G. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) has been implicated as a molecular driver and mediator in both inflammation and tumorigenesis of the colon. ILK functions as an adaptor and mediator protein linking the extracellular matrix with downstream signaling pathways. ILK is broadly expressed in many human tissues and cells. It is also overexpressed in many cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Inflammation, as evidenced by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is one of the highest risk factors for initiating CRC. This has led to the hypothesis that targeting ILK therapeutically could have potential in CRC, as it regulates different cellular processes associated with CRC development and progression as well as inflammation in the colon. A number of studies have indicated an ILK function in senescence, a cellular process that arrests the cell cycle while maintaining active metabolism and transcription. Senescent cells produce different secretions collectively known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). The SASP secretions influence infiltration of different immune cells, either positively for clearing senescent cells or negatively for promoting tumor growth, reflecting the dual role of senescence in cancer. However, a role for ILK in senescence and immunity in CRC remains to be determined. In this review, we discuss the possible role for ILK in senescence and immunity, paying particular attention to the relevance of ILK in CRC. We also examine how activating Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their agonists in CRC could trigger immune responses against cancer, as a combination therapy with ILK inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number638558
Number of pages19
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2021


  • colorectal cancer
  • combination theraoy
  • immunity
  • integrin-linked kinase
  • senescence

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