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Dev Cell. 2007 May;12(5):699-712.

GEF-H1 modulates localized RhoA activation during cytokinesis under the control of mitotic kinases.

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Departments of Immunology and Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

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  • Dev Cell. 2007 Jun;12(6):1007.


Formation of the mitotic cleavage furrow is dependent upon both microtubules and activity of the small GTPase RhoA. GEF-H1 is a microtubule-regulated exchange factor that couples microtubule dynamics to RhoA activation. GEF-H1 localized to the mitotic apparatus in HeLa cells, particularly at the tips of cortical microtubules and the midbody, and perturbation of GEF-H1 function induced mitotic aberrations, including asymmetric furrowing, membrane blebbing, and impaired cytokinesis. The mitotic kinases Aurora A/B and Cdk1/Cyclin B phosphorylate GEF-H1, thereby inhibiting GEF-H1 catalytic activity. Dephosphorylation of GEF-H1 occurs just prior to cytokinesis, accompanied by GEF-H1-dependent GTP loading on RhoA. Using a live cell biosensor, we demonstrate distinct roles for GEF-H1 and Ect2 in regulating Rho activity in the cleavage furrow, with GEF-H1 catalyzing Rho activation in response to Ect2-dependent localization and initiation of cell cleavage. Our results identify a GEF-H1-dependent mechanism to modulate localized RhoA activation during cytokinesis under the control of mitotic kinases.

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