Rho GTPases were previously shown to have an important role in cancer development and progression, including cell transformation, proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis. However, there is still little information available on the clinical significance of Rho GTPases expression in human cancer specimens. In the present study, we systemically investigated the mRNA expression levels of seven main members RhoA, RhoB, RhoC, Rac1, Rac2, Rac3, and Cdc42 of Rho family using semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR in 53 patients with gastric carcinoma and 7 gastric cancer cell lines. The total and activities of RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42 in 5 gastric cancer cell lines were also examined. The mean mRNA expression levels of RhoA and Rac1 in gastric cancer tissue specimens were significantly higher than those in the adjacent non-tumorous tissue specimens (p < 0.01). The higher expression of RhoA was significantly correlated with higher TNM stage (p < 0.05) as well as with pooly differentiated histological type (p < 0.05) of gastric carcinoma. The increased expression of Rac1 was related to higher TNM stages of gastric carcinoma (p < 0.05). The expression levels of mRNA, total protein and activities of RhoA and Rac1 in 7 gastric cancer cell lines were all higher than that in gastric mucosal epithelial cell line GES-1. These findings indicate that RhoA and Rac1 may play important roles in the carcinogenesis and progression of gastric carcinoma.