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Small GTPases. 2010 Sep;1(2):89-97.

Perturbation of cytoskeleton dynamics by the opposing effects of Rac1 and Rac1b.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology; Stony Brook University; Stony Brook, NY USA.


Rac1, a ubiquitously expressed member of the Rho GTPase family, plays a pivotal role in the regulation of multiple cellular processes including cytoskeleton reorganization, cell growth, differentiation and motility. Here we show that the tumor-specific splice variant of Rac1, Rac1b, negatively regulates Rac1 activity. The expression of Rac1b in HeLa cells interferes with Rac1 activation by PDGF, leads to a reduction in membrane-bound Rac1 and promotes an increase in Rho activity. The antagonistic relationship between Rac1 and Rac1b perturbs the regulatory circuitry that controls actin cytoskeleton dynamics thereby leading to tumor-linked alterations in cell morphology and motility.

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