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Int J Hepatol. 2012;2012:958673. doi: 10.1155/2012/958673. Epub 2012 Sep 3.

Watch the GAP: Emerging Roles for IQ Motif-Containing GTPase-Activating Proteins IQGAPs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

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1
Department of Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8151, USA.

Abstract

IQ motif-containing GTPase-activating proteins IQGAP1 and IQGAP2 are highly homologous multidomain scaffolding proteins. Their major function consists of integration of Rho GTPase and Ca(2+)/calmodulin signals with cell adhesive and cytoskeletal reorganizational events. Recent studies showed that they play an important role in carcinogenesis. There is growing evidence that IQGAP2 is a novel tumor suppressor counteracting the effects of IQGAP1, an oncogene, in several cancers, especially in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). While HCC is highly prevalent and one of the deadliest cancers worldwide, the signaling pathways involved are not fully understood and treatment of advanced disease still represents an area of high unmet medical need. This paper compiles various findings from studies in mouse models, cell lines, and patient samples that support future development of IQGAPs into new therapeutic targets. It also discusses distinct features of IQGAP2 in an attempt to provide insight into the mechanism of the seemingly paradoxical opposing roles of the two very similar IQGAP proteins in carcinogenesis.

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