The emerging roles of Gα12/13 proteins on the hallmarks of cancer in solid tumors.
G12 proteins comprise a subfamily of G-alpha subunits of heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) that link specific cell surface G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to downstream signaling molecules and play important roles in human physiology. The G12 subfamily contains two family members: Gα12 and Gα13 (encoded by the GNA12 and GNA13 genes, respectively) and, as with all G proteins, their activity is regulated by their ability to bind to guanine nucleotides. Increased expression of both Gα12 and Gα13, and their enhanced signaling, has been associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression of multiple cancer types over the past decade. Despite these strong associations, Gα12/13 proteins are underappreciated in the field of cancer. As our understanding of G protein involvement in oncogenic signaling has evolved, it has become clear that Gα12/13 signaling is pleotropic and activates specific downstream effectors in different tumor types. Further, the expression of Gα12/13 proteins is regulated through a series of transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms, several of which are frequently deregulated in cancer. With the ever-increasing understanding of tumorigenic processes driven by Gα12/13 proteins, it is becoming clear that targeting Gα12/13 signaling in a context-specific manner could provide a new strategy to improve therapeutic outcomes in a number of solid tumors. In this review, we detail how Gα12/13 proteins, which were first discovered as proto-oncogenes, are now known to drive several "classical" hallmarks, and also play important roles in the "emerging" hallmarks, of cancer.
Rasheed, SAK; Subramanyan, LV; Lim, WK; Udayappan, UK; Wang, M; Casey, PJ
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