Silencing of Rac3 Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis of Human Lung Cancer Cells

  • Liu, Tie-Qin (Department of Thoracic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University) ;
  • Wang, Ge-Bang (Department of Thoracic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University) ;
  • Li, Zheng-Jun (Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shenyang Chest Hospital) ;
  • Tong, Xiang-Dong (Department of Thoracic Surgery, General Hospital of Shenyang Military Area Command) ;
  • Liu, Hong-Xu (Department of Thoracic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University)
  • Published : 2015.04.14


Background: Rac3, a member of the Rac family of small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), regulates a variety of cell functions, including the organization of the cytoskeleton, cell migration, and invasion. Overexpression of Rac3 has been reported in several human cancers. However, the role of Rac3 in lung cancer (LC) has not been determined in detail. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of silencing of Rac3 expression in human LC cells and the consequences for cell survival. Materials and Methods: Lentivirus small hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference techniques were utilized to knock down the Rac3 gene. Gene and protein expression was quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting. LC cell apoptosis was examined by annexin V-APC /propidium iodide staining. Results: Efficient silencing of Rac3 strongly inhibited A549 cell proliferation and colony formation ability, and significantly decreased tumor growth. Moreover, flow cytometry analysis showed that knockdown of Rac3 led to G2/M phase cell cycle arrest as well as an excess accumulation of cells in the G1 and S phase. Conclusions: Thus, functional analysis using shRNAs revealed a critical role for Rac3 in the tumor growth of LC cells. shRNA silencing of Rac3 could provide an effective strategy to treat LC.


Lung cancer;Rac3;proliferation;apoptosis;shRNAs


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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