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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1997 Nov;29(11):1225-9.

The GTP-binding protein Rho.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, U.K.


RhoA, RhoB and RhoC are three closely related proteins, and are members of the Ras super-family of small GTP-binding proteins. They bind and hydrolyse GTP, and are active in the GTP-bound form. Their activity in cells is regulated by exchange factors, GTPase activating proteins and guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors. Several potential downstream target proteins for Rho proteins have been identified, including protein kinases and adaptor-type proteins. Rho proteins regulate actin cytoskeletal organization; for example in fibroblasts RhoA induces the formation of actin stress fibres. Rho proteins are also involved in regulating secretion, pinocytosis and clathrin coat-mediated endocytosis, transcriptional activation and stimulation of DNA synthesis. In addition, there is evidence that Rho proteins can play a role in cell transformation, and thus Rho proteins or components of their signalling pathways may be potential targets for the development of anti-cancer therapies.

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