The small GTPase RhoC in human cancers is up-regulated and correlated with tumor metastasis. However, the role of Rho/Rho-associated serine-threonine protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) signaling pathway in human cervical cancer is still unclear. In this study, we examine the effects of RhoC and its major downstream target, ROCK1, on the invasion and migration of CaSki cells to investigate the role of RhoC/ROCK1 signaling pathway in the progression of cervical squamous cell carcinoma.
RhoC and ROCK1 protein expression in CaSki cells was detected by Western blotting. Scratch and transwell assays were carried out to assess the effects of RhoC on invasion and migration of CaSki cells. Cell viability was assayed by MTT test after adding the ROCK1 inhibitor Y-27632 to CaSki cells.
Overexpression of RhoC protein in CaSki cells significantly increases ROCK1 expression and promotes cell invasion and migration compared with the control group (P < 0.05). However, in the inhibition of ROCK1 with Y-27632 in CaSki cells when RhoC was overexpressed, the rate of invasiveness and migration was reduced remarkably (P < 0.05), dropping to comparable levels as the control.
This study suggested that the activation of RhoC/ROCK1 signaling pathways is likely involved in the progression of cervical squamous cell carcinoma.