Role of Rho kinases in abnormal and normal hematopoiesis

Raghuveer Singh Mali, Simryn Kapur, Reuben Kapur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Rho kinases (ROCKs) are involved in regulating a variety of physiologic functions including cytoskeletal reorganization, migration, adhesion, survival and proliferation. They do so via activating several different downstream substrates such as myosin light chain phosphatase, LIM kinase and ezrin/radixin/moesin proteins. To date, most of the conclusions with regard to the function of ROCKs have involved the use of cell line models, pharmacologic inhibitors and dominant negative approaches. Importantly, the role of ROCK in hematopoiesis or leukemogenesis in the context of whole organism remains poorly understood. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies utilizing mice deficient in the expression of ROCK1 have begun to shed some light into the physiologic role(s) of ROCK in both normal and abnormal hematopoiesis. Findings, thus far, suggest that ROCK plays an essential role in regulating growth and survival in different hematopoietic lineages via distinct mechanisms, in part, by utilizing distinct downstream substrates including maintaining the activation of tumor-suppressor genes. SUMMARY: In blood cells, emerging data suggest that ROCK plays an essential role in negatively regulating inflammatory and erythropoietic stress and positively regulates the growth and survival of leukemic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in hematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Erythropoiesis and hematopoietic stem cells
  • Leukemia
  • Rho kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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