Gene Summary

Gene:ARHGEF12; Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 12
Aliases: LARG, PRO2792
Summary:Rho GTPases play a fundamental role in numerous cellular processes that are initiated by extracellular stimuli working through G protein-coupled receptors. The encoded protein may form a complex with G proteins and stimulate Rho-dependent signals. This protein has been observed to form a myeloid/lymphoid fusion partner in acute myeloid leukemia. Three transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 12
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (17)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Genes, Neoplasm
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Breast Cancer
  • Integrins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Young Adult
  • Proto-Oncogenes
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Cell Movement
  • Transcription Factors
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Gene Dosage
  • Point Mutation
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Base Sequence
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • CGH
  • Azacitidine
  • Chromosome 11
  • KMT2A protein, human
  • Artificial Gene Fusion
  • Cancer DNA
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • KMT2A
  • ARHGEF12
  • Leukemia, Myelomonocytic, Acute
  • p53 Protein
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Adolescents
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • RHOA
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ARHGEF12 (cancer-related)

Dirse V, Bertasiute A, Gineikiene E, et al.
A population-based single nucleotide polymorphism array analysis of genomic aberrations in younger adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2015; 54(5):326-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is characterized by a high frequency of abnormal karyotypes some of which are related to outcome. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array analysis provides a highly sensitive platform to detect large and small genomic aberrations. SNP array profiling data in adult ALL are limited and further systematic studies of this patient group are needed. We performed a population-based SNP array analysis of genomic aberrations and their influence on survival in 66 Lithuanian 18-65 year old ALL patients diagnosed between 2007 and 2013. Most aberrations were detected in chromosome arm 9p, chromosome arm 6q, chromosome arm 13q, and chromosome 17. The recurrently targeted copy number abnormalities involved several leukemia-related genes-CDKN2A/B, MLL, IKZF1, PAX5, RB1, TP53, and ETV6. We identified several new recurrent aberrations with possible new target genes: SMARCA4 in 19p13.2, RNASEL in 1q25.3, ARHGEF12 in 11q23.3, and LYL1 in 19p13.2. Aberrations in chromosome 13 and the RB1 gene as well as CDKN2A/B gene status were related to the outcome.

Osborne LD, Li GZ, How T, et al.
TGF-β regulates LARG and GEF-H1 during EMT to affect stiffening response to force and cell invasion.
Mol Biol Cell. 2014; 25(22):3528-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent studies implicate a role for cell mechanics in cancer progression. The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulates the detachment of cancer cells from the epithelium and facilitates their invasion into stromal tissue. Although classic EMT hallmarks include loss of cell-cell adhesions, morphology changes, and increased invasion capacity, little is known about the associated mechanical changes. Previously, force application on integrins has been shown to initiate cytoskeletal rearrangements that result in increased cell stiffness and a stiffening response. Here we demonstrate that transforming growth factor β (TGF-β)-induced EMT results in decreased stiffness and loss of the normal stiffening response to force applied on integrins. We find that suppression of the RhoA guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) LARG and GEF-H1 through TGF-β/ALK5-enhanced proteasomal degradation mediates these changes in cell mechanics and affects EMT-associated invasion. Taken together, our results reveal a functional connection between attenuated stiffness and stiffening response and the increased invasion capacity acquired after TGF-β-induced EMT.

Robbins CM, Tembe WA, Baker A, et al.
Copy number and targeted mutational analysis reveals novel somatic events in metastatic prostate tumors.
Genome Res. 2011; 21(1):47-55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Advanced prostate cancer can progress to systemic metastatic tumors, which are generally androgen insensitive and ultimately lethal. Here, we report a comprehensive genomic survey for somatic events in systemic metastatic prostate tumors using both high-resolution copy number analysis and targeted mutational survey of 3508 exons from 577 cancer-related genes using next generation sequencing. Focal homozygous deletions were detected at 8p22, 10q23.31, 13q13.1, 13q14.11, and 13q14.12. Key genes mapping within these deleted regions include PTEN, BRCA2, C13ORF15, and SIAH3. Focal high-level amplifications were detected at 5p13.2-p12, 14q21.1, 7q22.1, and Xq12. Key amplified genes mapping within these regions include SKP2, FOXA1, and AR. Furthermore, targeted mutational analysis of normal-tumor pairs has identified somatic mutations in genes known to be associated with prostate cancer including AR and TP53, but has also revealed novel somatic point mutations in genes including MTOR, BRCA2, ARHGEF12, and CHD5. Finally, in one patient where multiple independent metastatic tumors were available, we show common and divergent somatic alterations that occur at both the copy number and point mutation level, supporting a model for a common clonal progenitor with metastatic tumor-specific divergence. Our study represents a deep genomic analysis of advanced metastatic prostate tumors and has revealed candidate somatic alterations, possibly contributing to lethal prostate cancer.

Jiang X, Lu X, McNamara G, et al.
HGAL, a germinal center specific protein, decreases lymphoma cell motility by modulation of the RhoA signaling pathway.
Blood. 2010; 116(24):5217-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
HGAL is a germinal center (GC)-specific gene that negatively regulates lymphocyte motility and whose expression predicts improved survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). We demonstrate that HGAL serves as a regulator of the RhoA signaling pathway. HGAL enhances activation of RhoA and its down-stream effectors by a novel mechanism - direct binding to the catalytic DH-domain of the RhoA-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs) PDZ-RhoGEF and LARG that stimulate the GDP-GTP exchange rate of RhoA. We delineate the structural domain of HGAL that mediates its interaction with the PDZ-RhoGEF protein. These observations reveal a novel molecular mechanism underlying the inhibitory effects of GC-specific HGAL protein on the motility of GC-derived lymphoma cells. This mechanism may underlie the limited dissemination and better outcome of patients with HGAL-expressing DLBCL and cHL.

Ong DC, Ho YM, Rudduck C, et al.
LARG at chromosome 11q23 has functional characteristics of a tumor suppressor in human breast and colorectal cancer.
Oncogene. 2009; 28(47):4189-200 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deletion of 11q23-q24 is frequent in a diverse variety of malignancies, including breast and colorectal carcinoma, implicating the presence of a tumor suppressor gene at that chromosomal region. We examined a 6-Mb region on 11q23 by high-resolution deletion mapping, using both loss of heterozygosity analysis and customized microarray comparative genomic hybridization. LARG (leukemia-associated Rho guanine-nucleotide exchange factor) (also called ARHGEF12), identified from the analysed region, is frequently underexpressed in breast and colorectal carcinomas with a reduced expression observed in all breast cancer cell lines (n=11), in 12 of 38 (32%) primary breast cancers, 5 of 10 (50%) colorectal cell lines and in 20 of 37 (54%) primary colorectal cancers. Underexpression of the LARG transcript was significantly associated with genomic loss (P=0.00334). Hypermethylation of the LARG promoter was not detected in either breast or colorectal cancer, and treatment of four breast and four colorectal cancer cell lines with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or trichostatin A did not result in a reactivation of LARG. Enforced expression of LARG in breast and colorectal cancer cells by stable transfection resulted in reduced cell proliferation and colony formation, as well as in a markedly slower cell migration rate in colorectal cancer cells, providing functional evidence for LARG as a candidate tumor suppressor gene.

Kitzing TM, Sahadevan AS, Brandt DT, et al.
Positive feedback between Dia1, LARG, and RhoA regulates cell morphology and invasion.
Genes Dev. 2007; 21(12):1478-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The RhoA-effector Dia1 controls actin-dependent processes such as cytokinesis, SRF transcriptional activity, and cell motility. Dia1 polymerizes actin through its formin homology (FH) 2 domain. Here we show that Dia1 acts upstream of RhoA independently of its effects on actin assembly. Dia1 binds to the leukemia-associated Rho-GEF (LARG) through RhoA-dependent release of Dia1 autoinhibition. The FH2 domain stimulates the guanine nucleotide exchange activity of LARG in vitro. Our results reveal that Dia1 is necessary for LPA-stimulated Rho/ROCK signaling and bleb-associated cancer cell invasion. Thus, Dia1-dependent RhoA activation constitutes a positive feedback mechanism to modulate cell behavior.

Rujkijyanont P, Beyene J, Wei K, et al.
Leukaemia-related gene expression in bone marrow cells from patients with the preleukaemic disorder Shwachman-Diamond syndrome.
Br J Haematol. 2007; 137(6):537-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is an inherited bone marrow failure disorder with cytopenia and a high propensity for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and leukaemia, particularly acute myeloid leukaemia. The mechanism of leukaemogenesis in SDS is unknown. In accordance to the multi-hit theory of carcinogenesis, it is likely that several molecular and cellular hits occur before MDS/leukaemia become apparent. This study used oligonucleotide microarray to identify gene expression patterns, which were shown to be associated with leukaemogenesis, in marrow mononuclear cells of nine SDS patients without overt transformation compared to healthy controls. Among 154 known leukaemia-related genes, several oncogenes were found to be upregulated, including LARG, TAL1 and MLL, and of several tumour suppressor genes were downregulated, including DLEU1, RUNX1, FANCD2 and DKC1. Real time polymerase chain reaction confirmed statistically higher expression of LARG and TAL1 in SDS marrows. We conclude that SDS marrow mononuclear cells exhibit abnormal gene expression patterns, which might result in continuous stimulation favouring evolution or progression of malignant clones. Additional molecular and cytogenetic events are probably necessary for the malignant process to be irreversible and complete.

Shih LY, Liang DC, Fu JF, et al.
Characterization of fusion partner genes in 114 patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia and MLL rearrangement.
Leukemia. 2006; 20(2):218-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
The fusion transcripts of MLL rearrangement [MLL(+)] in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and their clinicohematologic correlation have not be well characterized in the previous studies. We used Southern blot analysis to screen MLL(+) in de novo AML. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the common MLL fusion transcripts. cDNA panhandle PCR was used to identify infrequent or unknown MLL partner genes. MLL(+) was identified in 114 (98 adults) of 988 AML patients. MLL fusion transcripts comprised of 63 partial tandem duplication of MLL (MLL-PTD), 14 MLL-AF9, 9 MLL-AF10, 9 MLL-ELL, 8 MLL-AF6, 4 MLL-ENL and one each of MLL-AF1, MLL-AF4, MLL-MSF, MLL-LCX, MLL-LARG, MLL-SEPT6 and MLL-CBL. The frequency of MLL-PTD was 7.1% in adults and 0.9% in children (P<0.001). 11q23 abnormalities were detected in 64% of MLL/t11q23 and in none of MLL-PTD by conventional cytogenetics. There were no differences in remission rate, event-free survival and overall survival between adult MLL-PTD and MLL/t11q23 groups. Adult patients had a significantly poorer outcome than children. The present study showed that cDNA panhandle PCR can identify all rare or novel MLL partner genes. MLL-PTD was rare in childhood AML. MLL(+) adults had a poor outcome with no difference in survival between MLL-PTD and MLL/t11q23 groups.

Tyybäkinoja A, Saarinen-Pihkala U, Elonen E, Knuutila S
Amplified, lost, and fused genes in 11q23-25 amplicon in acute myeloid leukemia, an array-CGH study.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2006; 45(3):257-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene amplifications occur rarely in hematologic neoplasms. We characterized two cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with marker chromosomes and 11q23-25 amplicons. Case 1 was a 14-year-old male with an additional ring of chromosome 11 material as the sole karyotypic abnormality, as determined by G-banding and multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization. Standard comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) showed amplification in 11q23-qter. However, the MLL gene, in 11q23, was not amplified by FISH. Case 2 was a 38-year-old male with the G-banding karyotype 51,XY,+8,+19,+3mar and with 11q22-qter amplification by standard CGH. This patient also had the MLL-LARG fusion gene. We used microarray-based CGH (array-CGH) to characterize the amplicons. In case 1, the amplified region in 11q24.3-25 (5.5 Mb) was continuous, and MLL was not amplified, as expected. In case 2, the amplicon was divided into two distinct parts, in 11q23.3 (1.2 Mb) and in 11q23.3-25 (13.3 Mb). It contained a loss ( approximately 1 Mb) in 11q23.3, and the amplicon breakpoint was in the middle of MLL. Although the amplicon size varied, the patients had a common amplified region in 11q24-25 that comprised 14 genes. Expression microarray of case 1 revealed that three of these genes, FLI1, NFRKB, and SNX19, were also overexpressed. The results indicate that the 11q24-q25 region may harbor new candidate oncogenes. In addition, the complex amplicon of case 2 suggests some intriguing chromosomal mechanisms.

Kourlas PJ, Strout MP, Becknell B, et al.
Identification of a gene at 11q23 encoding a guanine nucleotide exchange factor: evidence for its fusion with MLL in acute myeloid leukemia.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000; 97(5):2145-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We have identified a gene at 11q23, telomeric to MLL, that encodes a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF). This gene is transcribed into a 9.5-kb mRNA containing a 4.6-kb ORF. By Northern analysis, it was found to be expressed in all human tissues examined including peripheral blood leukocytes, spleen, prostate, testis, ovary, small intestine, colon, and minimally in thymus. Analysis of the predicted protein sequence indicates that it has strong homology to several members of the family of Rho GEFs that includes such oncogenes as Dbl, Vav, Tiam, and Bcr. A patient with primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and a karyotype of 51,XY,+8,+19,+3mar was found to have the 5' end of MLL at exon 6 fused in-frame with the 3' end of almost the entire ORF of this gene, which we named LARG for leukemia-associated Rho GEF. Transcriptional orientation of both genes at 11q23 is from centromere to telomere, consistent with other data that suggest the MLL-LARG fusion resulted from an interstitial deletion rather than a balanced translocation. LARG does not appear to have any homology with other MLL partner genes reported thus far. Thus, LARG represents an additional member of the GEF family and a novel MLL fusion partner in acute myeloid leukemia.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. ARHGEF12, Cancer Genetics Web: Accessed:

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