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Cell Signal. 1999 Aug;11(8):545-54.

Rho guanine dissociation inhibitors: pivotal molecules in cellular signalling.

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CNRS UPR 9063, Laboratoire d'Enzymologie et Biochimie Structurales, Gif sur Yvette, France.


The small G proteins of the Ras family act as bimodal relays in the transfer of intracellular signals. This is a dynamic phenomenon involving a cascade of protein-protein interactions modulated by chemical modifications, structural rearrangements and intracellular relocalisations. Most of the small G proteins could be operationally defined as proteins having two conformational states, each of which interacts with different cellular partners. These two states are determined by the nature of the bound nucleotide, GDP or GTP. This capacity to cycle between a GDP-bound conformation and a GTP-bound conformation enables them to filter, to amplify or to temporise the upstream signals that they receive. Thus the control of this cycle is crucial. Membrane anchoring of the proteins in the Ras family is a prerequisite for their activity. Most of the proteins in the Rho/Rac and Rab subfamilies of Ras proteins cycle between cytosol and membranes. Then the control of membrane association/dissociation is an other important regulation level. This review will describe one family of crucial regulators acting on proteins in the Rho/Rac family-the Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors, or RhoGDIs. As yet, only three RhoGDIs have been described: RhoGDI-1, RhoGDI-2 (or D4/Ly-GDI) and RhoGDI-3. RhoGDI 1 and 2 are cytosolic and participate in the regulation of both the GDP/GTP cycle and the membrane association/dissociation cycle of Rho/Rac proteins. The non-cytosolic RhoGDI-3 seems to act in a slightly different way.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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