Inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation by targeting Rac1 GTPase with small interference RNA in tumor cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Aug 6;320(4):1309-1315. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.06.088.


Hypoxia-induced angiogenesis plays an important role in the malignancy of solid tumors. A number of recent studies including our own have suggested that Rho family small GTPases are involved in this process, and Racl, a prominent member of the Rho family, may be critical in regulating hypoxia-induced gene activation of several angiogenesis factors and tumor suppressors. To fur-ther define Racl function in angiogenesis and to explore novel approaches to modulate angiogenesis, we employed the small interference RNA technique to knock down gene expression of Racl in gastric cancer cell line AGS that expresses a high level of Racl. Both the mRNA and protein levels of Racl in the AGS cells were decreased dramatically after transfection with a Racl-specific siRNA vector. When the conditioned medium derived from the Racl downregulated AGS cells was applied to the human endothelial cells. it could significantly inhibit the cell proliferation. Further study proved that, VEGF and HIF-la, two angiogenesis promoting factors, were found to be downregulated whereas p53 and VHL, which are tumor suppressors and angiogenesis inhibitors. were upregulated in the Racl siRNA transfected cells. Our results suggest that Racl may be involved in angiogenesis by controlling the expression of angiogenesis-related factors and provide a possible strategy for the treatment of tumor angiogenesis by targeting the Racl GTPase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelium, Vascular / enzymology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / growth & development*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Silencing
  • Gene Targeting / methods
  • Humans
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein


  • Neuropeptides
  • RAC1 protein, human
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein