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Protein Cell. 2011 Jan;2(1):13-25. doi: 10.1007/s13238-011-1004-7. Epub 2011 Feb 20.

Small GTPases and cilia.

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Erratum in

  • Protein Cell. 2011 Mar;2(3):259.

Abstract

Small GTPases are key molecular switches that bind and hydrolyze GTP in diverse membrane- and cytoskeleton-related cellular processes. Recently, mounting evidences have highlighted the role of various small GTPases, including the members in Arf/Arl, Rab, and Ran subfamilies, in cilia formation and function. Once overlooked as an evolutionary vestige, the primary cilium has attracted more and more attention in last decade because of its role in sensing various extracellular signals and the association between cilia dysfunction and a wide spectrum of human diseases, now called ciliopathies. Here we review recent advances about the function of small GTPases in the context of cilia, and the correlation between the functional impairment of small GTPases and ciliopathies. Understanding of these cellular processes is of fundamental importance for broadening our view of cilia development and function in normal and pathological states and for providing valuable insights into the role of various small GTPases in disease processes, and their potential as therapeutic targets.

PMID:
21337006
PMCID:
PMC3858892
DOI:
10.1007/s13238-011-1004-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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