Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Cell. 2008 May;19(5):2147-53. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E07-12-1269. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

GEF-H1 couples nocodazole-induced microtubule disassembly to cell contractility via RhoA.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Immunology and Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The RhoA GTPase plays a vital role in assembly of contractile actin-myosin filaments (stress fibers) and of associated focal adhesion complexes of adherent monolayer cells in culture. GEF-H1 is a microtubule-associated guanine nucleotide exchange factor that activates RhoA upon release from microtubules. The overexpression of GEF-H1 deficient in microtubule binding or treatment of HeLa cells with nocodazole to induce microtubule depolymerization results in Rho-dependent actin stress fiber formation and contractile cell morphology. However, whether GEF-H1 is required and sufficient to mediate nocodazole-induced contractility remains unclear. We establish here that siRNA-mediated depletion of GEF-H1 in HeLa cells prevents nocodazole-induced cell contraction. Furthermore, the nocodazole-induced activation of RhoA and Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) that mediates phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chain (MLC) is impaired in GEF-H1-depleted cells. Conversely, RhoA activation and contractility are rescued by reintroduction of siRNA-resistant GEF-H1. Our studies reveal a critical role for a GEF-H1/RhoA/ROCK/MLC signaling pathway in mediating nocodazole-induced cell contractility.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk