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Cancer Sci. 2006 Sep;97(9):848-53. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

Inactivation of Rho GTPases by p190 RhoGAP reduces human pancreatic cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Osaka, Japan.


A number of small GTPases are involved in cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion, acting as molecular switches that cycle between GTP- and GDP-bound states. GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) have been established as a major class of negative regulators of Rho GTPase signaling. To investigate the biological function of p190 RhoGAP toward RhoA in cancer cell invasion and metastasis, we generated a chimera made of the RhoGAP domain of p190 and the C-terminus of RhoA (p190-RhoA chimera), and transfected it into human pancreatic cancer cells, AsPC-1. Epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced activation of RhoA, as well as RhoB and RhoC, to a lesser extent, was significantly inhibited in p190-RhoA chimera-transfected AsPC-1 cells compared with that of control cells (mock-infected), when assessed by pull-down assay for GTP-bound RhoA, RhoB, and RhoC, respectively. EGF-induced invasion of p190-RhoA chimera transfectants was significantly inhibited compared with that of mock-infected cells in a modified Boyden chamber assay. Furthermore, the mice injected intrasplenically with AsPC-1 cells that overexpressed the p190-RhoA chimera had a marked reduction in the number and size of metastatic nodules in the liver. These data suggest that the inhibitory action of p190 RhoGAP toward RhoA offers a novel approach to the treatment of invasion and metastasis of cancer cells.

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