Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2007 Nov 23;282(47):34510-24. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

The Galpha12/13 family of heterotrimeric G proteins and the small GTPase RhoA link the Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus G protein-coupled receptor to heme oxygenase-1 expression and tumorigenesis.

Author information

Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas A. Sols, Departamento de Bioquímica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Arzobispo Morcillo 4, Madrid, Spain.


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an inducible enzyme that metabolizes the heme group, is highly expressed in human Kaposi sarcoma lesions. Its expression is up-regulated by the G protein-coupled receptor from the Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (vGPCR). Although recent evidence shows that HO-1 contributes to vGPCR-induced tumorigenesis and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, the molecular steps that link vGPCR to HO-1 remain unknown. Here we show that vGPCR induces HO-1 expression and transformation through the Galpha(12/13) family of heterotrimeric G proteins and the small GTPase RhoA. Targeted small hairpin RNA knockdown expression of Galpha(12), Galpha(13), or RhoA and inhibition of RhoA activity impair vGPCR-induced transformation and ho-1 promoter activity. Knockdown expression of RhoA also reduces vGPCR-induced VEFG-A secretion and blocks tumor growth in a murine allograft tumor model. NIH-3T3 cells expressing constitutively activated Galpha(13) or RhoA implanted in nude mice develop tumors displaying spindle-shaped cells that express HO-1 and VEGF-A, similarly to vGPCR-derived tumors. RhoAQL-induced tumor growth is reduced 80% by small hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown expression of HO-1 in the implanted cells. Likewise, inhibition of HO-1 activity by chronic administration of the HO-1 inhibitor tin protoporphyrin IX to mice reduces RhoAQL-induced tumor growth by 70%. Our study shows that vGPCR induces HO-1 expression through the Galpha(12/13)/RhoA axes and shows for the first time a potential role for HO-1 as a therapeutic target in tumors where RhoA has oncogenic activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center