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    As key regulators of the actin cytoskeleton, RHO GTPase expression and/or activity are deregulated in tumorigenesis and metastatic progression. Nevertheless, the vast majority of experiments supporting this conclusion was conducted on cell lines but not on human tumor samples that were mostly studied at the expression level only. Up to now, the activity of RHO proteins remains poorly investigated in human tumors. In this article, we present the development of a robust nanobody-based ELISA assay, with a high selectivity that allows an accurate quantification of RHO protein GTP-bound state in the nanomolar range (1 nM; 20 μg/L), not only in cell lines after treatment but also in tumor samples. Of note, we present here a fine analysis of RHOA-like and RAC1 active state in tumor samples with the most comprehensive study of RHOA-GTP and RHOC-GTP levels performed on human breast tumor samples. We revealed increased GTP-bound RHOA and RHOC protein activities in tumors compared to normal tissue counterparts, and demonstrated that the RHO active state and RHO expression are two independent parameters among different breast cancer subtypes. Our results further highlight the regulation of RHO protein activation in tumor samples and the relevance of directly studying RHO GTPase activities involvement in molecular pathways.


    Laura Keller, Claudine Tardy, Laetitia Ligat, Julia Gilhodes, Thomas Filleron, Nicolas Bery, Philippe Rochaix, Alexis Aquilina, Sara Bdioui, Thomas Roux, Eric Trinquet, Gilles Favre, Aurélien Olichon. Nanobody-Based Quantification of GTP-Bound RHO Conformation Reveals RHOA and RHOC Activation Independent from Their Total Expression in Breast Cancer. Analytical chemistry. 2021 Apr 20;93(15):6104-6111

    PMID: 33825439

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