The Crossroads between RAS and RHO Signaling Pathways in Cellular Transformation, Motility and Contraction

Olga Soriano, Marta Alcón-Pérez, Miguel Vicente-Manzanares, Esther Castellano
2021 Genes  
Ras and Rho proteins are GTP-regulated molecular switches that control multiple signaling pathways in eukaryotic cells. Ras was among the first identified oncogenes, and it appears mutated in many forms of human cancer. It mainly promotes proliferation and survival through the MAPK pathway and the PI3K/AKT pathways, respectively. However, the myriad proteins close to the plasma membrane that activate or inhibit Ras make it a major regulator of many apparently unrelated pathways. On the other
more » ... d, Rho is weakly oncogenic by itself, but it critically regulates microfilament dynamics; that is, actin polymerization, disassembly and contraction. Polymerization is driven mainly by the Arp2/3 complex and formins, whereas contraction depends on myosin mini-filament assembly and activity. These two pathways intersect at numerous points: from Ras-dependent triggering of Rho activators, some of which act through PI3K, to mechanical feedback driven by actomyosin action. Here, we describe the main points of connection between the Ras and Rho pathways as they coordinately drive oncogenic transformation. We emphasize the biochemical crosstalk that drives actomyosin contraction driven by Ras in a Rho-dependent manner. We also describe possible routes of mechanical feedback through which myosin II activation may control Ras/Rho activation.
doi:10.3390/genes12060819 pmid:34071831 fatcat:m4wuwxomjnb4jel75dbhv3entq