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Traffic. 2005 Nov;6(11):957-66.

RhoGDIs revisited: novel roles in Rho regulation.

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Laboratoire d'Enzymologie et Biochimie Structurales, CNRS, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Erratum in

  • Traffic. 2006 Jan;7(1):108.


Small GTP-binding proteins of the Rho/Rac/Cdc42 family combine their GDP/GTP cycle, regulated by guanine nucleotide-exchange factors and GTPase-activating proteins, to a cytosol/membrane cycle, regulated by guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (rhoGDIs). RhoGDIs are endowed with dual functions in the cytosol where they form soluble complexes with geranylgeranylated GDP-bound Rho proteins and at membrane interfaces where they monitor the delivery and extraction of Rho proteins to/from their site of action. They have little diversity compared with other Rho protein regulators and therefore have been regarded mostly as housekeeping regulators that distribute Rho proteins equally to any membranes. Recently, acquired data show that rhoGDIs, by interacting with candidate receptors/displacement factors or by phosphorylation, may in fact have active contributions to targeting Rho proteins to specific subcellular membranes and signaling pathways. In addition, the GDP/GTP and membrane/cytosol cycles can be uncoupled in certain cases, with Rho proteins either escaping the membrane/cytosol cycle or being regulated by rhoGDIs in their GTP-bound form. Here, we survey recent structure-function relationships and cellular studies on rhoGDIs and revisit their classical housekeeping role into novel and more specific functions. We also review their involvement in diseases.

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