International journal of oncology

The Rho GTPase RhoE is a p53-regulated candidate tumor suppressor in cancer cells.

PMID 24399089


Previous studies have shown that RhoE, an atypical member of the Rho GTPase family, may play an opposite role to RhoA in regulating cell proliferation and invasion. To explore the relationship between RhoE and the malignant phenotypes of human cancer, we have determined the expression patterns of RhoE in varying grade of human cancer tissues and tested the effects of RhoE expression in several RhoE underexpressing cancer cell lines. Systemic immunocytochemistry analyses of gastric, colorectal, lung and breast carcinomas, respectively, showed that RhoE protein expression was significantly decreased in most cancer cases compared with that of adjacent normal tissues. Enhanced RhoE expression could markedly inhibit proliferation, migration and invasion and induce apoptosis of the cancer cells which have relatively low levels of endogenous RhoE expression. Wild-type p53 (wt-p53) could strongly increase RhoE expression in p53-transfected cells. Furthermore, the luciferase assays indicated that wt-p53 significantly enhanced the activities of RhoE promoter compared with mutant p53 (mt-p53) in PC3 cells (p53 null). Collectively, data are presented showing that RhoE may participate in human cancer progression and act as a candidate target of p53, and these findings also strongly suggest that RhoE may be a new candidate tumor suppressor and could serve as a potential target in the gene therapy of cancer.