The family of Rho GTPases are involved in the dynamic control of cytoskeleton reorganization and other fundamental cellular functions, including growth, motility, and survival. Rac1, one of the best characterized Rho GTPases, is an established effector of receptors and an important node in signaling networks crucial for tumorigenesis and metastasis. Rac1 hyperactivation is common in human cancer and could be the consequence of overexpression, abnormal upstream inputs, deregulated degradation, and/or anomalous intracellular localization. More recently, cancer-associated gain-of-function mutations in Rac1 have been identified which contribute to tumor phenotypes and confer resistance to targeted therapies. Deregulated expression/activity of Rac guanine nucleotide exchange factors responsible for Rac activation has been largely associated with a metastatic phenotype and drug resistance. Translating our extensive knowledge in Rac pathway biochemistry into a clinical setting still remains a major challenge; nonetheless, remarkable opportunities for cancer therapeutics arise from promising lead compounds targeting Rac and its effectors.

You do not currently have access to this content.