LIM kinases are common downstream effectors of several signalization pathways and function as a signaling node that controls cytoskeleton dynamics through the phosphorylation of the cofilin family proteins. These last 10 years, several reports indicate that the functions of LIM kinases are more extended than initially described and, specifically, that LIM kinases also control microtubule dynamics, independently of their regulation of actin microfilament. In this review we analyze the data supporting these conclusions and the possible mechanisms that could be involved in the control of microtubules by LIM kinases. The demonstration that LIM kinases also control microtubule dynamics has pointed to new therapeutic opportunities. Consistently, several new LIM kinase inhibitors have been recently developed. We provide a comprehensive comparison of these inhibitors, of their chemical structure, their specificity, their cellular effects as well as their effects in animal models of various diseases including cancer.
- LIM kinases
ASJC Scopus subject areas