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Dev Cell. 2001 Oct;1(4):477-89.

The C. elegans PH domain protein CED-12 regulates cytoskeletal reorganization via a Rho/Rac GTPase signaling pathway.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


The C. elegans gene ced-12 functions in the engulfment of apoptotic cells and in cell migration, acting in a signaling pathway with ced-2 Crkll, ced-5 DOCK180, and ced-10 Rac GTPase and acting upstream of ced-10 Rac. ced-12 encodes a protein with a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain and an SH3 binding motif, both of which are important for ced-12 function. CED-12 acts in engulfing cells for cell corpse engulfment and interacts physically with CED-5, which contains an SH3 domain. CED-12 has Drosophila and human counterparts. Expression of CED-12 and its counterparts in murine Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts induced Rho GTPase-dependent formation of actin filament bundles. We propose that through interactions with membranes and with a CED-2/CED-5 protein complex, CED-12 regulates Rho/Rac GTPase signaling and leads to cytoskeletal reorganization by an evolutionarily conserved mechanism.

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