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Small GTPases. 2017 Jun 20:1-7. doi: 10.1080/21541248.2017.1331721. [Epub ahead of print]

Role of the small GTPase Rap1 in signal transduction, cell dynamics and bacterial infection.

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a Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Zürich , Zürich , Switzerland.
b Department of Cell Biochemistry , University of Groningen , Groningen , The Netherlands.


Rap1 belongs to the Ras family of small GTPases, which are involved in a multitude of cellular signal transduction pathways and have extensively been linked to cancer biogenesis and metastasis. The small GTPase is activated in response to various extracellular and intracellular cues. Rap1 has conserved functions in Dictyostelium discoideum amoeba and mammalian cells, which are important for cell polarity, substrate and cell-cell adhesion and other processes that involve the regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics. Moreover, our recent study has shown that Rap1 is required for the formation of the replication-permissive vacuole of an intracellular bacterial pathogen. Here we review the function and regulation of Rap1 in these distinct processes, and we discuss the underlying signal transduction pathways.


Dictyostelium; Legionella; adhesion; cell migration; chemotaxis; host-pathogen interactions; macrophage; motility; pathogen vacuole; small GTPase; type IV secretion

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