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Genes Dev. 1997 Feb 15;11(4):463-75.

Activation of the nuclear factor-kappaB by Rho, CDC42, and Rac-1 proteins.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


The Rho family of small GTPases are critical elements involved in the regulation of signal transduction cascades from extracellular stimuli to the cell nucleus, including the JNK/SAPK signaling pathway, the c-fos serum response factor, and the p70 S6 kinase. Here we report a novel signaling pathway activated by the Rho proteins that may be responsible for their biological activities, including cytoskeleton organization, transformation, apoptosis, and metastasis. The human RhoA, CDC42, and Rac-1 proteins efficiently induce the transcriptional activity of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) by a mechanism that involves phosphorylation of Ikappa Balpha and translocation of p50/p50 and p50/p65 dimers to the nucleus, but independent of the Ras GTPase and the Raf-1 kinase. We also show that activation of NF-kappaB by TNFalpha depends on CDC42 and RhoA, but not Rac-1 proteins, because this activity is drastically inhibited by their respective dominant-negative mutants. In contrast, activation of NF-kappaB by UV light was not affected by Rho, CDC42, or Rac-1 dominant-negative mutants. Thus, members of the Rho family of GTPases are involved specifically in the regulation of NF-kappaB-dependent transcription.

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