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Curr Biol. 2000 Nov 2;10(21):1387-90.

The novel Rho-family GTPase rif regulates coordinated actin-based membrane rearrangements.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


Small GTPases of the Rho family have a critical role in controlling cell morphology, motility and adhesion through dynamic regulation of the actin cytoskeleton [1,2]. Individual Rho GTPases have been shown to regulate distinct components of the cytoskeletal architecture; RhoA stimulates the bundling of actin filaments into stress fibres [3], Rac reorganises actin to produce membrane sheets or lamellipodia [4] and Cdc42 causes the formation of thin, actin-rich surface projections called filopodia [5]. We have isolated a new Rho-family GTPase, Rif (Rho in filopodia), and shown that it represents an alternative signalling route to the generation of filopodial structures. Coordinated regulation of Rho-family GTPases can be used to generate more complicated actin rearrangements, such as those underlying cell migration [6]. In addition to inducing filopodia, Rif functions cooperatively with Cdc42 and Rac to generate additional structures, increasing the diversity of actin-based morphology.

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