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Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;22(9):492-501. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

New insights into Rho signaling from plant ROP/Rac GTPases.

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Center for Plant Cell Biology, Institute of Integrated Genome Biology, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92508, USA.

Erratum in

  • Trends Cell Biol. 2013 Feb;23(2):102.


In animal and plant cells, a wide range of key cellular processes that require the establishment of cell polarity are governed by Rho-GTPases. In contrast to animals and yeast, however, plants possess a single Rho-GTPase subfamily called Rho-like GTPases from plants (ROPs). This raises the question of how plants achieve the high level of regulation required for polar cellular processes. It is becoming evident that plants have evolved specific regulators, including ROP-Guanine Exchange Factors (GEFs) and the Rop-interactive CRIB motif-containing protein (RIC) effectors. Recent research shows that the spatiotemporal dynamics of ROPs, the cytoskeleton, endocytosis, and exocytosis are intertwined. This review focuses on the proposed self-organizing nature of ROPs in plants and how ROP-mediated cellular mechanisms compare with those responsible for cell polarity in animals and yeast.

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