Rho-GTPases are members of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases and are general modulators of important cellular processes in tumor biology such as migration and proliferation. Among these proteins, Rnd3/RhoE, an atypical Rho-GTPase devoid of GTP hydrolytic activity, has recently been studied for its putative role in tumorigenesis. Indeed, Rnd3 is implicated in processes, such as proliferation and migration, whose deregulation is linked to cancer development and metastasis. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the data surrounding Rnd3 deregulation in cancers, its origin, and consequences. Presented here is a comprehensive account of the expression status and biological output obtained in prostate, liver, stomach, colon, lung, and brain cancers as well as in melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Although there appears to be no general consensus about Rnd3 expression in cancers as this protein is differently altered according to the tumor context, these alterations overwhelmingly favor a protumorigenic role. Thus, depending on the tumor type, it may behave either as a tumor suppressor or as a tumor promoter. Importantly, the deregulation of Rnd3, in most cases, is linked to patient poor outcome.
Implications: Rnd3 has prognostic marker potential as exemplified in lung cancers and Rnd3 or Rnd3-associated signaling pathways may represent a new putative therapeutic target. Mol Cancer Res; 14(11); 1033–44. ©2016 AACR.
- Received May 9, 2016.
- Revision received July 19, 2016.
- Accepted August 10, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.