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Cell Adh Migr. 2010 Jul-Sep;4(3):327-32. Epub 2010 Jul 4.

Rap GTPase-mediated adhesion and migration: A target for limiting the dissemination of B-cell lymphomas?

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Life Sciences Institute I3 and CELL research groups, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


B-cell lymphomas, which arise in lymphoid organs, can spread rapidly via the circulatory system and form solid tumors within multiple organs. Rate-limiting steps in this metastatic process may be the adhesion of lymphoma cells to vascular endothelial cells, their exit from the vasculature and their migration to tissue sites that will support tumor growth. Thus proteins that control B cell adhesion and migration are likely to be key factors in lymphoma dissemination, and hence potential targets for therapeutic intervention. The Rap GTPases are master regulators of integrin activation, cell motility and the underlying cytoskeletal, adhesion and membrane dynamics. We have recently shown that Rap activation is critical for B-lymphoma cells to undergo transendothelial migration in vitro and in vivo. As a consequence, suppressing Rap activation impairs the ability of intravenously injected B-lymphoma cells to form solid tumors in the liver and other organs. We discuss this work in the context of targeting Rap, its downstream effectors, or other regulators of B cell adhesion and migration as an approach for limiting the dissemination of B-lymphoma cells and the development of secondary tumors.

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