Doublecortin‑like kinase protein 1 (DCLK1) is a microtubule‑associated protein with a C‑terminal serine/threonine kinase domain. Its expression was first reported in radial glial cells, where it serves an essential role in early neurogenesis, and since then, other functions of the DCLK1 protein have also been identified. Initially considered to be a marker of quiescent gastrointestinal and pancreatic stem cells, DCLK1 has recently been identified in the gastrointestinal tract as a marker of tuft cells. It has also been implicated in different types of cancer, where it regulates several vital pathways, such as Kras signaling. However, its underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The present review discusses the different roles of DCLK1 and its interactions with other proteins that are homologically similar to DCLK1 to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to target cancer cells more accurately.
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