Rho Kinase (ROCK) Inhibitors and Their Therapeutic Potential

Yangbo Feng, Philip V. Lograsso, Olivier Defert, Rongshi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


Rho kinases (ROCKs) belong to the serine-threonine family, the inhibition of which affects the function of many downstream substrates. As such, ROCK inhibitors have potential therapeutic applicability in a wide variety of pathological conditions including asthma, cancer, erectile dysfunction, glaucoma, insulin resistance, kidney failure, neuronal degeneration, and osteoporosis. To date, two ROCK inhibitors have been approved for clinical use in Japan (fasudil and ripasudil) and one in China (fasudil). In 1995 fasudil was approved for the treatment of cerebral vasospasm, and more recently, ripasudil was approved for the treatment of glaucoma in 2014. In this Perspective, we present a comprehensive review of the physiological and biological functions for ROCK, the properties and development of over 170 ROCK inhibitors as well as their therapeutic potential, the current status, and future considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2269-2300
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 24 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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