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Am J Physiol. 1995 Aug;269(2 Pt 2):F180-9.

Subcellular distribution and membrane association of Rho-related small GTP-binding proteins in kidney cortex.

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Département de Chimie-Biochimie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


We have examined the subcellular distribution of Rho-related small GTP-binding proteins in the kidney. RhoA, CDC42, and Rac1 small GTP-binding proteins were found to be expressed at high levels in rat outer kidney cortex. Western blot analysis showed that these proteins were predominantly associated with brush-border and basolateral plasma membranes, with the exception of Rac1 which was localized predominantly in the mitochondria. RhoA and CDC42 were also found in the cytosol, and a small fraction was associated with cytoskeletal elements. A GDP-dissociation inhibitor specific for the Rho family (RhoGDI) was also identified and found to be located exclusively in the cytosol. Upon fractionation of kidney cytosol with anion-exchange chromatography, RhoA and CDC42 proteins eluted in two major well-resolved peaks that coeluted with the RhoGDI protein, suggesting that they form heterodimers. Association of RhoA and CDC42 with RhoGDI was further suggested by coelution of these proteins with RhoGDI at an estimated size of approximately 45 kDa after gel-filtration chromatography. However, a second peak of RhoA eluted as a 20-kDa protein, indicating that not all RhoA is complexed to RhoGDI. Addition of RhoA- and CDC42-enriched fractions to purified membranes from kidney cortex resulted in their translocation to the membranes and their carboxyl methylation. Both processes were stimulated by guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate). Methylation inhibitors had no effect on the translocation of RhoA to membranes, suggesting that this covalent modification is not required for association to the membrane.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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