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Cell Adh Migr. 2011 Mar-Apr;5(2):170-80. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Dynamics of the Rho-family small GTPases in actin regulation and motility.

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Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY, USA.


The p21 Rho-family of small GTPases are master regulators of actin cytoskeleton rearrangements. Their functions have been well characterized in terms of their effects toward various actin-modulating protein targets. However, more recent studies have shown that the dynamics of Rho GTPase activities are highly complex and tightly regulated in order to achieve their specific subcellular localization. Furthermore, these localized effects are highly dynamic, often spanning the time-scale of seconds, making the interpretation of traditional biochemical approaches inadequate to fully decipher these rapid mechanisms in vivo. Here, we provide an overview of Rho family GTPase biology, and introduce state-of-the-art approaches to study the dynamics of these important signaling proteins that ultimately coordinate the actin cytoskeleton rearrangements during cell migration.

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