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Gary M. Bokoch talks with ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about this month's Emerging Research Front Paper in the field of Pharmacology & Toxicology.
Bokoch Article: Biology of the p21-activated kinases
Authors: Bokoch, GM
Journal: ANNU REV BIOCHEM, 72: 743-781 2003
Addresses: Scripps Res Inst, Dept Immunol, 10550 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037 USA.
Scripps Res Inst, Dept Immunol, La Jolla, CA 92037 USA.
Scripps Res Inst, Dept Cell Biol, La Jolla, CA 92037 USA.

Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

I believe it is highly cited because it is a comprehensive review of the literature on p21-activated kinases (Paks) in general.

Would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman’s terms?

This is a focused review related to how small Rho GTPases regulate cell function.

How did you become involved in this research, and were there any particular problems encountered along the way?

Our interest in the biology of the Paks was initiated by our observations that these enzymes were abundant targets of Rac GTPase in human neutrophils.

Where do you see your research leading in the future?

Our current studies involving Paks demonstrate that Pak1 and Pak2 are critical regulators of cell motility by controlling the functioning of the cell leading edge. This has important implications for Paks in both cancer and neurogenesis/mental retardation syndromes.

Gary M. Bokoch, Ph.D.
Dept. of Immunology
The Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla, CA, USA

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Keywords: p21-activated kinases, Paks, Rho GTPases, Rac GTPase, human neutrophils, Pak1, Pak2 cancer, neurogenesis/mental retardation syndromes.

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2008 : October 2008 : Gary M. Bokoch