Conditional ROCK activation in vivo induces tumor cell dissemination and angiogenesis

Croft, D., Sahai, E., Mavria, G., Li, S., Tsai, J., Lee, W., Marshall, C. and Olson, M. (2004) Conditional ROCK activation in vivo induces tumor cell dissemination and angiogenesis. Cancer Research, 64(24), pp. 8994-9001. (doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-2052)

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Abstract

Progression of tumors to invasive and metastatic forms requires that tumor cells undergo dramatic morphologic changes, a process regulated by Rho GTPases. Elevated expression of RhoA and RhoC, as well as the Rho effector proteins ROCK I and ROCK II, are commonly observed in human cancers and are often associated with more invasive and metastatic phenotypes. To examine how ROCK contributes to the progression of solid tumors, we established a conditionally activated form of ROCK II by fusing the kinase domain to the estrogen receptor hormone-binding domain (ROCK:ER). ROCK: ER-expressing colon carcinoma cells grown as tumors in immunocompromised nude mice organized into discrete clusters surrounding blood vessels. However, ROCKER activation resulted in the aggressive dissemination of tumor cells into the surrounding stroma, indicating that increased ROCK signaling is sufficient to promote invasion from solid tumors. In addition, tumors in which ROCKER was activated were more highly vascularized, indicating that ROCK contributes to tumor angiogenesis. ROCKER activation resulted in changes to epithelial morphology and organization that facilitated motility in vitro, likely by inducing the redistribution of proteins such as ezrin, as well as adherens junction and extracellular matrix-binding proteins. These results suggest that ROCK inhibitors would be useful antimetastatic and antiangiogenic chemotherapeutic agents in tumors associated with elevated RhoA, RhoC, ROCK I, or ROCK II expression.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Olson, Professor Michael
Authors: Croft, D., Sahai, E., Mavria, G., Li, S., Tsai, J., Lee, W., Marshall, C., and Olson, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Cancer Research
ISSN:0008-5472

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