Rho-kinase (ROCKs) belongs to the family of serine/threonine kinases and is an important downstream effector of the small GTP-binding protein RhoA. There are two isoforms of Rho-kinase, ROCK1 and ROCK2, and they have different functions with ROCK1 for circulating inflammatory cells and ROCK2 for vascular smooth muscle cells. It has been demonstrated that the RhoA/Rho-kinase pathway plays an important role in various fundamental cellular functions, including contraction, motility, proliferation, and apoptosis, leading to the development of cardiovascular disease. The important role of Rho-kinase in vivo has been demonstrated in the pathogenesis of vasospasm, arteriosclerosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, and heart failure. Furthermore, the beneficial effects of fasudil, a selective Rho-kinase inhibitor, have been demonstrated for the treatment of several cardiovascular diseases in humans. Thus the Rho-kinase pathway is an important new therapeutic target in cardiovascular medicine.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Aug|
- Cyclophilin a
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)