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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 1;278(31):28743-9. Epub 2003 May 27.

Receptor-dependent RhoA activation in G12/G13-deficient cells: genetic evidence for an involvement of Gq/G11.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The small GTPase RhoA is involved in the regulation of various cellular functions like the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton and the induction of transcriptional activity. G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are able to activate Gq/G11 and G12/G13 are major upstream regulators of RhoA activity, and G12/G13 have been shown to couple GPCRs to the activation of Rho by regulating the activity of a subfamily of RhoGEF proteins. However, the possible contribution of Gq/G11 to the regulation of RhoA activity via GPCRs is controversial. We have used a genetic approach to study the role of heterotrimeric G-proteins in the activation of RhoA via endogenous GPCRs. In pertussis toxin-treated Galpha12/Galpha13-deficient as well as in Galphaq/Galpha11-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), in which coupling of receptors is restricted to Gq/G11 and G12/G13, respectively, receptor activation results in Rho activation. Rho activation induced by receptor agonists via Gq/G11 occurs with lower potency than Rho activation via G12/G13. Activation of RhoA via Gq/G11 is not affected by the phospholipase-C blocker U73122 or the Ca2+-chelator BAPTA, but can be blocked by a dominant-negative mutant of the RhoGEF protein LARG. Our data clearly show that G12/G13 as well as Gq/G11 alone can couple GPCRs to the rapid activation of RhoA. Gq/G11-mediated RhoA activation occurs independently of phospholipase C-beta and appears to involve LARG.

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