The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Pablo García de Frutos

GAS6/TAM system in physiology and disease

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Pablo García de Frutos
Department of Cell Death and Proliferation, Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spanish National Research Council, Barcelona, Spain

The GAS6/ProS-TAM system of ligand-receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) is an important regulator of the response to damage in different organs. The ligands, GAS6 and protein S (ProS) belong to the small group of vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDP), a family composed of less than 20 genes, including the serine proteases of the coagulation cascade. The TAM receptors, TYRO3, AXL and MERTK, were cloned as potential oncogenes during the early nineties, showing cell survival properties upon activation.

Due to the overlap in TAM receptor functions, the specific function of each component of this system has been difficult to decipher. During the last decade, however, the involvement of the system in human disease, specifically in cancer, has brought a great deal of attention to it. Nowadays we have a clearer picture of the physiological role and the involvement of these proteins in pathological processes. In this seminar I will provide a historical sketch leading to our present view of the field and focus on our recent studies, in particular on the possible role of GAS6/TAMs in liver pathology.

Chairperson: James Lorens, Department of Biomedicine