Rho proteins and cancer

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2004 Mar;84(1):13-9. doi: 10.1023/B:BREA.0000018423.47497.c6.


The Rho family of GTPases has been intensively studied for their roles in signal transduction processes leading to cytoskeletal-dependent responses, including cell migration and phagocytosis. In addition, they are important regulators of cell cycle progression and affect the expression of a number of genes, including those for matrix-degrading proteases implicated in cancer invasion. So far, the expression of some Rho family members has been found to be increased in some human cancers, and some cancer-associated mutations in Rho family regulators have been characterized. This makes Rho protein signalling pathways attractive targets for cancer therapy. However, there is little evidence so far from animal studies to define if and how Rho proteins contribute to cancer cell proliferation, survival, invasion and metastasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / enzymology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Signal Transduction
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*


  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins