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J Cell Mol Med. 2007 Sep-Oct;11(5):1185-207.

DLC-1:a Rho GTPase-activating protein and tumour suppressor.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.


The deleted in liver cancer 1 (DLC-1) gene encodes a GTPase activating protein that acts as a negative regulator of the Rho family of small GTPases. Rho proteins transduce signals that influence cell morphology and physiology, and their aberrant up-regulation is a key factor in the neoplastic process, including metastasis. Since its discovery, compelling evidence has accumulated that demonstrates a role for DLC-1 as a bona fide tumour suppressor gene in different types of human cancer. Loss of DLC-1 expression mediated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms has been associated with the development of many human cancers, and restoration of DLC-1 expression inhibited the growth of tumour cells in vivo and in vitro. Two closely related genes, DLC-2 and DLC-3, may also be tumour suppressors. This review presents the current status of progress in understanding the biological functions of DLC-1 and its relatives and their roles in neoplasia.

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