Research Seminar: Rho GTPase networks and cancer progression

Professor Anne Ridley, FRS
Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics, King’s College London

Tuesday 8th May, 1.00 p.m., Stacey Lecture Theatre 1

Rho GTPases are intracellular signalling proteins that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and cell adhesion. They are key components of cell signalling networks in cell migration, thereby contributing to development of multicellular organisms, as well as diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammation. During cancer progression, cancer cells invade and migrate through the tissues and enter and then exit the blood stream to form secondary tumours, known as metastases. We have used RNAi screening to identify specific Rho GTPases as well as their upstream regulators and downstream targets that are needed for different steps of cancer progression, including cancer cell migration, invasion, transendothelial migration and metastasis. For example, we have shown that the Rho GTPases Cdc42 and RhoC play an important role in epithelial cancer cells for attachment to endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo, and hence for metastasis.   I will discuss how dynamic crosstalk between Rho GTPases and their interacting proteins modulates the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration in cancer.