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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Nov 30;278(3):604-8.

Rnd1, a novel rho family GTPase, induces the formation of neuritic processes in PC12 cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan.


Rho family GTPases have been shown to be involved in the regulation of neuronal cell morphology, including neurite extension and retraction. Rho activation leads to neurite retraction and cell rounding, whereas Rac and Cdc42 are implicated in the promotion of filopodia and lamellipodia formation in growth cones and, therefore, in neurite extension. In this study, we examined the morphological role of Rnd1, a new member of Rho family GTPases, in PC12 cells, and found that expression of Rnd1 by itself caused the formation of many neuritic processes from the cell body with disruption of the cortical actin filaments, the processes having microtubules but few filamentous actin and neurofilaments. Treatment with cytochalasin D, an inhibitor of actin polymerization, could mimic the effects of expression of Rnd1, in that this inhibitor disrupted the cortical actin filaments and induced the formation of many thin processes containing microtubules. The process formation induced by Rnd1 was inhibited by dominant negative Rac1. These results suggest that Rnd1 induces the Rac-dependent neuritic process formation in part by disruption of the cortical actin filaments.

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