Novel Insights into the Roles of Rho Kinase in Cancer

Lei Wei, Michelle Surma, Stephanie Shi, Nathan Lambert-Cheatham, Jianjian Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

81 Scopus citations


Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK) is a major downstream effector of the small GTPase RhoA. The ROCK family, consisting of ROCK1 and ROCK2, plays a central role in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton, and is involved in a wide range of fundamental cellular functions such as contraction, adhesion, migration, proliferation, and apoptosis. Since the discovery of effective inhibitors such as fasudil and Y27632, the biological roles of ROCK have been extensively explored in numerous diseases, including cancer. Accumulating evidence supports the concept that ROCK plays important roles in tumor development and progression through regulating many key cellular functions associated with malignancy, including tumorigenicity, tumor growth, metastasis, angiogenesis, tumor cell apoptosis/survival and chemoresistance as well. This review focuses on the new advances of the most recent 5 years from the studies on the roles of ROCK in cancer development and progression; the discussion is mainly focused on the potential value of ROCK inhibitors in cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-278
Number of pages20
JournalArchivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Cancer therapy
  • ROCK isoform-specific inhibitor
  • Rho kinase
  • Rho kinase pan-inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Novel Insights into the Roles of Rho Kinase in Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this