In various vascular diseases, extracellular matrix (ECM) and integrin expression are frequently altered, leading to focal adhesion kinase (FAK) or proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) activation. In addition to the major roles of FAK and Pyk2 in regulating adhesion dynamics via integrins, recent studies have shown a new role for nuclear FAK in gene regulation in various vascular cells. In particular, FAK primarily localizes within the nuclei of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of healthy arteries. However, vessel injury increased FAK localization back to adhesions and elevated FAK activity, leading to VSMC hyperplasia. The study suggested that abnormal FAK or Pyk2 activation in vascular cells may cause pathology in vascular diseases. Here we will review several studies of FAK and Pyk2 associated with integrin signaling in vascular diseases including restenosis, atherosclerosis, heart failure, pulmonary arterial hypertension, aneurysm, and thrombosis. Despite the importance of FAK family kinases in vascular diseases, comprehensive reviews are scarce. Therefore, we summarized animal models involving FAK family kinases in vascular diseases.
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