Dynamic interactions and dissolution of cell-extracellular matrix contacts are required steps to support cell growth and survival during cancer cell metastasis. Malignant cells acquire the ability to remodel extracellular matrix (ECM) and to modulate the expression of ECM receptors. Integrins are cellular receptors for molecules in the extracellular matrix. Integrin signaling is known to regulate metastatic cancer phenotypes by interacting synergistically with several signaling pathways, including the growth factor receptor pathway, the Ras-MAP kinase (Ras-MAPK) pathway and the Rho-effector pathway. In this mini-review, we discuss the functions of the Rho proteins and their relationship with other signaling pathways in matrix remodeling and integrin signaling of highly motile and invasive cancer cells.
2007 S. Karger AG, Basel