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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jul 11;278(28):25671-7. Epub 2003 May 1.

Direct interaction of Rnd1 with Plexin-B1 regulates PDZ-RhoGEF-mediated Rho activation by Plexin-B1 and induces cell contraction in COS-7 cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Plexins are receptors for the axon guidance molecule semaphorins, and several lines of evidence suggest that Rho family small GTPases are implicated in the downstream signaling of Plexins. Recent studies have demonstrated that Plexin-B1 activates RhoA and induces growth cone collapse through Rho-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor PDZ-RhoGEF. Here we show that Rnd1, a member of Rho family GTPases, directly interacted with the cytoplasmic domain of Plexin-B1. In COS-7 cells, coexpression of Rnd1 and Plexin-B1 induced cell contraction in response to semaphorin 4D (Sema4D), a ligand for Plexin-B1, whereas expression of Plexin-B1 alone or coexpression of Rnd1 and a Rnd1 interaction-defective mutant of Plexin-B1 did not. The Sema4D-induced contraction in Plexin-B1/Rnd1-expressing COS-7 cells was suppressed by dominant negative RhoA, a Rho-associated kinase inhibitor, a dominant negative form of PDZ-RhoGEF, or deletion of the carboxyl-terminal PDZ-RhoGEF-binding region of Plexin-B1, indicating that the PDZ-RhoGEF/RhoA/Rho-associated kinase pathway is involved in this morphological effect. We also found that Rnd1 promoted the interaction between Plexin-B1 and PDZ-RhoGEF and thereby dramatically potentiated the Plexin-B1-mediated RhoA activation. We propose that Rnd1 plays an important role in the regulation of Plexin-B1 signaling, leading to Rho activation during axon guidance and cell migration.

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