Rho-Associated Coiled-Coil Kinase (ROCK) in Molecular Regulation of Angiogenesis
Identified as a major downstream effector of the small GTPase RhoA, Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK) is a versatile regulator of multiple cellular processes. Angiogenesis, the process of generating new capillaries from the pre-existing ones, is required for the development of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, ROCK has attracted attention for its crucial role in angiogenesis, making it a promising target for new therapeutic approaches. In this review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the role of ROCK signaling in regulating the permeability, migration, proliferation and tubulogenesis of endothelial cells (ECs), as well as its functions in non-ECs which constitute the pro-angiogenic microenvironment. The therapeutic potential of ROCK inhibitors in angiogenesis-related diseases is also discussed.
Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK); angiogenesis; endothelial cell; microenvironment; therapeutic target