Jnk in tumor microenvironment: Present findings and challenges in clinical translation

Shing Yau Tam, Helen Ka Wai Law

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are a group of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). JNK is mainly activated under stressful conditions or by inflammatory cytokines and has multiple downstream targets for mediating cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, apoptosis, and immune responses. JNK has been demonstrated to have both tumor promoting and tumor suppressing roles in different cancers depending on the focused pathway in each study. JNK also plays complex roles in the heterogeneous tumor microenvironment (TME). JNK is involved in different tumorigenesis pathways. TME closely relates with tumor development and consists of various stressful and chronic inflammatory conditions along with different cell populations, in which the JNK pathway may have various mediating roles. In this review, we aim to summarize the present knowledge of JNK-mediated processes in TME, including hypoxia, reactive oxygen species, inflammation, immune responses, angiogenesis, as well as the regulation of various cell populations within TME. This review also suggests future research directions for translating JNK modulation in pre-clinical findings to clinical benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2196
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2021


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Inflammation
  • JNK
  • Stressful conditions
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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