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J Mol Med (Berl). 2002 Oct;80(10):629-38. Epub 2002 Sep 7.

Rho/Rho-kinase mediated signaling in physiology and pathophysiology.

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Institute of Pharmacology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The small GTPase Rho is implicated in many cellular functions such as cell adhesion, cell motility and migration, growth control, cell contraction, and cytokinesis. One of its main effectors, Rho-kinase, appears to play a key role in the regulation of force and velocity of actomyosin crossbridging in smooth muscle and nonmuscle cells by inhibiting myosin phosphatase-mediated dephosphorylation of the regulatory chain of myosin II. Abnormal activation of the Rho/Rho-kinase pathway has been shown to play a role in diseases such as hypertension and bronchial asthma. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the physiological and pathophysiological function of the Rho/Rho-kinase mediated pathway in various tissues with a focus on its possible role as a target for therapeutic interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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