MicroRNA Regulation of the Small Rho GTPase Regulators-Complexities and Opportunities in Targeting Cancer Metastasis.
ABSTRACT: The small Rho GTPases regulate important cellular processes that affect cancer metastasis, such as cell survival and proliferation, actin dynamics, adhesion, migration, invasion and transcriptional activation. The Rho GTPases function as molecular switches cycling between an active GTP-bound and inactive guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-bound conformation. It is known that Rho GTPase activities are mainly regulated by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs), GTPase-activating proteins (RhoGAPs), GDP dissociation inhibitors (RhoGDIs) and guanine nucleotide exchange modifiers (GEMs). These Rho GTPase regulators are often dysregulated in cancer; however, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a large family of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate protein-coding gene expression, have been shown to play important roles in cancer metastasis. Recent studies showed that miRNAs are capable of directly targeting RhoGAPs, RhoGEFs, and RhoGDIs, and regulate the activities of Rho GTPases. This not only provides new evidence for the critical role of miRNA dysregulation in cancer metastasis, it also reveals novel mechanisms for Rho GTPase regulation. This review summarizes recent exciting findings showing that miRNAs play important roles in regulating Rho GTPase regulators (RhoGEFs, RhoGAPs, RhoGDIs), thus affecting Rho GTPase activities and cancer metastasis. The potential opportunities and challenges for targeting miRNAs and Rho GTPase regulators in treating cancer metastasis are also discussed. A comprehensive list of the currently validated miRNA-targeting of small Rho GTPase regulators is presented as a reference resource.
Project description:In order to metastasise, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) must make dynamic changes in cell shape. The shape of all eukaryotic cells is regulated by Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors (RhoGEFs), which activate Rho-family GTPases in response to mechanical and informational cues. In contrast, Rho GTPase-activating proteins (RhoGAPs) inhibit Rho GTPases. However, which RhoGEFs and RhoGAPS couple TNBC cell shape to changes in their environment is very poorly understood. Moreover, whether the activity of particular RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs become dysregulated as cells evolve the ability to metastasise is not clear. Towards the ultimate goal of identifying RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs that are essential for TNBC metastasis, we performed an RNAi screen to isolate RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs that contribute to the morphogenesis of the highly metastatic TNBC cell line LM2, and its less-metastatic parental cell line MDA-MB-231. For ~6 million cells from each cell line, we measured 127 different features following the depletion of 142 genes. Using a linear classifier scheme we also describe the morphological heterogeneity of each gene-depleted population.
Project description:BACKGROUND: RHOGTPases play a significant role in modulating myometrial contractility in uterine smooth muscle. They are regulated by at least three families of proteins, RHO guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RHOGEFs), RHOGTPase-activating proteins (RHOGAPs) and RHO guanine nucleotide inhibitors (RHOGDIs). RHOGEFs activate RHOGTPases from the inactive GDP-bound to the active GTP-bound form. RHOGAPs deactivate RHOGTPases by accelerating the intrinsic GTPase activity of the RHOGTPases, converting them from the active to the inactive form. RHOGDIs bind to GDP-bound RHOGTPases and sequester them in the cytosol, thereby inhibiting their activity. Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin (ERM) proteins regulate the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and an ERM protein, moesin (MSN), is activated by and can also activate RHOGTPases. METHODS: We therefore investigated the expression of various RHOGEFs, RHOGAPs, a RHOGDI and MSN in human myometrium, by semi-quantitative reverse transcription PCR, real-time fluorescence RT-PCR, western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. Expression of these molecules was also examined in myometrial smooth muscle cells. RESULTS: ARHGEF1, ARHGEF11, ARHGEF12, ARHGAP5, ARHGAP24, ARHGDIA and MSN mRNA and protein expression was confirmed in human myometrium at term pregnancy, at labour and in the non-pregnant state. Furthermore, their expression was detected in myometrial smooth muscle cells. It was determined that ARHGAP24 mRNA expression significantly increased at labour in comparison to the non-labour state. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated for the first time the expression of the RHOGTPase regulators ARHGEF1, ARHGEF11, ARHGEF12, ARHGAP5, ARHGAP24, ARHGDIA and MSN in human myometrium, at term pregnancy, at labour, in the non-pregnant state and also in myometrial smooth muscle cells. ARHGAP24 mRNA expression significantly increased at labour in comparison to the non-labouring state. Further investigation of these molecules may enable us to further our knowledge of RHOGTPase regulation in human myometrium during pregnancy and labour.
Project description:The Drosophila leg imaginal disc consists of a peripheral region that contributes to adult body wall, and a central region that forms the leg proper. While the patterning signals and transcription factors that determine the identity of adult structures have been identified, the mechanisms that determine the shape of these structures remain largely unknown. The family of Rho GTPases, which consists of seven members in flies, modulates cell adhesion, actomyosin contractility, protrusive membrane activity, and cell-matrix adhesion to generate mechanical forces that shape adult structures. The Rho GTPases are ubiquitously expressed and it remains unclear how they orchestrate morphogenetic events. The Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs) and Rho GTPase activating proteins (RhoGAPs), which respectively activate and deactivate corresponding Rho GTPases, have been proposed to regulate the activity of Rho signaling cascades in specific spatiotemporal patterns to orchestrate morphogenetic events. Here we identify restricted expression of 12 of the 20 RhoGEFs and 10 of the 22 Rho RhoGAPs encoded in Drosophila during metamorphosis. Expression of a subset of each family of RhoGTPase regulators was restricted to motile cell populations including tendon, muscle, trachea, and peripodial stalk cells. A second subset was restricted either to all presumptive joints or only to presumptive tarsal joints. Depletion of individual RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs in the epithelium of the disc proper identified several joint-specific genes, which act downstream of segmental patterning signals to control epithelial morphogenesis. Our studies provide a framework with which to understand how Rho signaling cascades orchestrate complex morphogenetic events in multi-cellular organisms, and evidence that patterning signals regulate these cascades to control apical constriction and epithelial invagination at presumptive joints.
Project description:The aberrant activity of Ras homologous (Rho) family small GTPases (20 human members) has been implicated in cancer and other human diseases. However, in contrast to the direct mutational activation of Ras found in cancer and developmental disorders, Rho GTPases are activated most commonly in disease by indirect mechanisms. One prevalent mechanism involves aberrant Rho activation via the deregulated expression and/or activity of Rho family guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs). RhoGEFs promote formation of the active GTP-bound state of Rho GTPases. The largest family of RhoGEFs is comprised of the Dbl family RhoGEFs with 70 human members. The multitude of RhoGEFs that activate a single Rho GTPase reflects the very specific role of each RhoGEF in controlling distinct signaling mechanisms involved in Rho activation. In this review, we summarize the role of Dbl RhoGEFs in development and disease, with a focus on Ect2 (epithelial cell transforming squence 2), Tiam1 (T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1), Vav and P-Rex1/2 (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate)-dependent Rac exchanger).
Project description:Cell migration is dependent on the dynamic formation and disassembly of actin filament-based structures, including lamellipodia, filopodia, invadopodia, and membrane blebs, as well as on cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix adhesions. These processes all involve Rho family small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), which are regulated by the opposing actions of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Rho GTPase activity needs to be precisely tuned at distinct cellular locations to enable cells to move in response to different environments and stimuli. In this review, we focus on the ability of RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs to form complexes with diverse binding partners, and describe how this influences their ability to control localized GTPase activity in the context of migration and invasion.
Project description:Rho GTPases are important regulators of many cellular processes. Subversion of Rho GTPases is a common infection strategy employed by many important human pathogens. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC) translocate the effector EspH, which inactivates mammalian Rho guanine exchange factors (GEFs), as well as Map, EspT, and EspM2, which, by mimicking mammalian RhoGEFs, activate Rho GTPases. In this study we found that EspH induces focal adhesion disassembly, triggers cell detachment, activates caspase-3, and induces cytotoxicity. EspH-induced cell detachment and caspase-3 activation can be offset by EspT, EspM2, and the Salmonella Cdc42/Rac1 GEF effector SopE, which remain active in the presence of EspH. EPEC and EHEC therefore use a novel strategy of controlling Rho GTPase activity by translocating one effector to inactivate mammalian RhoGEFs, replacing them with bacterial RhoGEFs. This study also expands the functional range of bacterial RhoGEFs to include cell adhesion and survival.Many human pathogens use a type III secretion system to translocate effectors that can functionally be divided into signaling, disabling, and countervirulence effectors. Among the signaling effectors are those that activate Rho GTPases, which play a central role in coordinating actin dynamics. However, many pathogens also translocate effectors with antagonistic or counteractive functions. For example, Salmonella translocates SopE and SptP, which sequentially turn Rac1 and Cdc42 on and off. In this paper, we show that enteropathogenic E. coli translocates EspH, which inactivates mammalian RhoGEFs and triggers cytotoxicity and at the same time translocates the bacterial RhoGEFs EspM2 and EspT, which are insensitive to EspH, and so neutralizes EspH-induced focal adhesion disassembly, cell detachment, and caspase-3 activation. Our data point to an intriguing infection strategy in which EPEC and EHEC override cellular Rho GTPase signaling by disabling mammalian RhoGEFs and replacing them with with bacterial RhoGEFs that promote cell adhesion and survival.
Project description:This is a ordinary differential equation mathematical model describing the Rho GTPase cycle in which Rho GDP-dissociation inhibitors (RhoGDIs) inhibit the regulatory activities of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) by interacting with them directly as well as by sequestering the Rho GTPases. The model was constructed with the intent of analyzing the role of RhoGDIs in Rho GTPase signaling.
Project description:Actin-dependent mechanisms drive the nuclear translocation of Yap1 to enable its co-activation of transcription factors that induce pro-growth and survival programs. While Rho GTPases are necessary for the nuclear import of YAP1, the relevant Guanine Exchange Factors (GEFs) and GTPase Activating Proteins (GAPs) that connect this process to upstream signaling are not well defined. To this end, we measured the impact of expressing sixty-seven RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs on the YAP1 dependent activity of a TEAD element transcriptional reporter. Robust effects by all three members of the regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) domain containing RhoGEFs (ArhGEF1, ArhGEF11 and ArhGEF12) prompted studies relating their known roles in serum signaling onto the regulation of Yap1. Under all conditions examined, ArhGEF12 preferentially mediated the activation of YAP1/TEAD by serum versus ArhGEF1 or ArhGEF11. Conversely, ArhGEF1 in multiple contexts inhibited both basal and serum elevated YAP1 activity through its GAP activity for G?<sub>13</sub>. The sensitivity of such inhibition to cellular density and to low states of serum signaling supports that ArhGEF1 is a context dependent regulator of YAP1. Taken together, the relative activities of the RGS-RhoGEFs were found to dictate the degree to which serum signaling promotes YAP1 activity.
Project description:At steady state, most Rho GTPases are bound in the cytosol to Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (RhoGDIs). RhoGDIs have generally been considered to hold Rho proteins passively in an inactive state within the cytoplasm. Here we describe an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which RhoGDI1 controls the homeostasis of Rho proteins in eukaryotic cells. We found that depletion of RhoGDI1 promotes misfolding and degradation of the cytosolic geranylgeranylated pool of Rho GTPases while activating the remaining membrane-bound fraction. Because RhoGDI1 levels are limiting, and Rho proteins compete for binding to RhoGDI1, overexpression of an exogenous Rho GTPase displaces endogenous Rho proteins bound to RhoGDI1, inducing their degradation and inactivation. These results raise important questions about the conclusions drawn from studies that manipulate Rho protein levels. In many cases the response observed may arise not simply from the overexpression itself but from additional effects on the levels and activity of other Rho GTPases as a result of competition for binding to RhoGDI1; this may require a re-evaluation of previously published studies that rely exclusively on these techniques.
Project description:The Rho GTPases are critical regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and are required for cell adhesion, migration, and polarity. Among the key Rho regulatory proteins in the context of cell migration are the p190 RhoGAPs (p190A and p190B), which function to modulate Rho signaling in response to integrin engagement. The p190 RhoGAPs undergo complex regulation, including phosphorylation by several identified kinases, interactions with phospholipids, and association with a variety of cellular proteins. Here, we have identified an additional regulatory mechanism unique to p190A RhoGAP that involves priming-dependent phosphorylation by glycogen synthase-3-beta (GSK-3beta), a kinase previously implicated in establishing cell polarity. We found that p190A-deficient fibroblasts exhibit a defect in directional cell migration reflecting a requirement for GSK-3beta-mediated phosphorylation of amino acids in the C-terminal "tail" of p190A. This phosphorylation leads to inhibition of p190A RhoGAP activity in vitro and in vivo. These studies identify p190A as a novel GSK-3beta substrate and reveal a mechanism by which GSK-3beta contributes to cellular polarization in directionally migrating cells via effects on Rho GTPase activity.