The future of regenerative medicine relies on our understanding of stem cells which are essential for tissue/organ generation and regeneration to maintain and/or restore tissue homeostasis. Rho family GTPases are known regulators of a wide variety of cellular processes related to cytoskeletal dynamics, polarity and gene transcription. In the last decade, major new advances have been made in understanding the regulatory role and mechanism of Rho GTPases in self-renewal, differentiation, migration, and lineage specification in tissue-specific signaling mechanisms in various stem cell types to regulate embryonic development, adult tissue homeostasis, and tissue regeneration upon stress or damage. Importantly, implication of Rho GTPases and their upstream regulators or downstream effectors in the transformation, migration, invasion and tumorigenesis of diverse cancer stem cells highlights the potential of Rho GTPase targeting in cancer therapy. In this review, we discuss recent evidence of Rho GTPase signaling in the regulation of embryonic stem cells, multiple somatic stem cells, and cancer stem cells. We propose promising areas where Rho GTPase pathways may serve as useful targets for stem cell manipulation and related future therapies.

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