SmgGDS-558 regulates the cell cycle in pancreatic, non-small cell lung, and breast cancers

Nathan J. Schuld, Andrew D. Hauser, Adam J. Gastonguay, Jessica M. Wilson, Ellen L. Lorimer, Carol L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Oncogenic mutation or misregulation of small GTPases in the Ras and Rho families can promote unregulated cell cycle progression in cancer. Post-translational modification by prenylation of these GTPases allows them to signal at the cell membrane. Splice variants of SmgGDS, named SmgGDS-607 and SmgGDS-558, promote the prenylation and membrane trafficking of multiple Ras and Rho family members, which makes SmgGDS a potentially important regulator of the cell cycle. Surprisingly little is known about how SmgGDS-607 and SmgGDS-558 affect cell cycle-regulatory proteins in cancer, even though SmgGDS is overexpressed in multiple types of cancer. To examine the roles of SmgGDS splice variants in the cell cycle, we compared the effects of the RNAi-mediated depletion of SmgGDS-558 vs. SmgGDS-607 on cell cycle progression and the expression of cyclin D1, p27, and p21 in pancreatic, lung, and breast cancer cell lines. We show for the first time that SmgGDS promotes proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells, and we demonstrate that SmgGDS-558 plays a greater role than SmgGDS-607 in cell cycle progression as well as promoting cyclin D1 and suppressing p27 expression in multiple types of cancer. Silencing both splice variants of SmgGDS in the cancer cell lines produces an alternative signaling profile compared with silencing SmgGDS-558 alone. We also show that loss of both SmgGDS-607 and SmgGDS-558 simultaneously decreases tumorigenesis of NCI-H1703 non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) xenografts in mice. These findings indicate that SmgGDS promotes cell cycle progression in multiple types of cancer, making SmgGDS a valuable target for cancer therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-952
Number of pages12
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge Dr Jeffrey Woodliff for assistance with the FACs cell cycle analysis, and Marylou Mader for assistance with our animal study. This work is supported by NIH grants R01 CA136799 (C.L.W.); the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (C.L.W.), the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse (C.L.W.), and the Rock River Cancer Research Foundation (C.L.W.). J.W. is a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program at MCW, which is partially supported by a training grant from NIGMS T32-GM080202.


  • Breast cancer
  • Cell cycle
  • GTPase
  • Lung cancer
  • Mouse tumorigenesis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Proliferation
  • RNAi
  • Rap1GDS1
  • SmgGDS


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