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Small GTPases

Michael John Rivera-Robles, Julia Medina-Velásquez, Gabriela M Asencio-Torres, Sahily Gonzáles-Crespo, Brian C Rymond, José Rodríguez-Medina, Suranganie Dharmawardhane
The Rho GTPase Cdc42 is highly conserved in structure and function. Mechanical or chemical cues in the microenvironment stimulate the localized activation of Cdc42 to rearrange the actin cytoskeleton and establish cell polarity. A role for Cdc42 in cell polarization was first discovered in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and subsequently shown to also regulate directional motility in animal cells. Accordingly, in cancer Cdc42 promotes migration, invasion, and spread of tumor cells. Therefore, we targeted Cdc42 as a therapeutic strategy to treat metastatic breast cancer and designed the small molecule MBQ-167 as a potent inhibitor against Cdc42 and the homolog Rac...
July 3, 2018: Small GTPases
Xuehua Xu
Eukaryotic cells sense and migrate toward chemoattractant gradients using G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathways. The fascinating feature of chemotaxis is that cells migrate through chemoattractant gradients with huge concentration ranges by "adaptation." Adaptive cells no longer respond to the present stimulus but remain sensitive to stronger stimuli, providing the fundamental strategy for chemotaxis through gradients with a broad range of concentrations. Ras activation is the first step in the GPCR-mediated chemosensing signaling pathways that displays adaptation...
May 29, 2018: Small GTPases
Fabian R Villagomez, Oscar Medina-Contreras, Jorge Francisco Cerna-Cortes, Genaro Patino-Lopez
The study of cancer has allowed researchers to describe some biological characteristics that tumor cells acquire during their development, known as the "hallmarks of cancer" but more research is needed to expand our knowledge about cancer biology and to generate new strategies of treatment. The role that RabGTPases might play in some hallmarks of cancer represents interesting areas of study since these proteins are frequently altered in cancer. However, their participation is not well known. Recently, Rab35was recognized as an oncogenic RabGTPase and and because of its association with different cellular functions, distinctly important in immune cells, a possible role of Rab35 in leukemia can be suggested...
May 28, 2018: Small GTPases
Bart Nieuwenhuis, Richard Eva
Adult central nervous system (CNS) axons do not regenerate after injury because of extrinsic inhibitory factors, and a low intrinsic capacity for axon growth. Developing CNS neurons have a better regenerative ability, but lose this with maturity. This mini-review summarises recent findings which suggest one reason for regenerative failure is the selective distribution of growth machinery away from axons as CNS neurons mature. These studies demonstrate roles for the small GTPases ARF6 and Rab11 as intrinsic regulators of polarised transport and axon regeneration...
May 17, 2018: Small GTPases
Hiroaki Kajiho, Yuko Kajiho, Giorgio Scita
How cancer disseminates and metastasizes remains an outstanding open question. Emerging evidence indicates that membrane trafficking is frequently harnessed by tumors of epithelial origin to acquire a mesenchymal program of invasiveness. However, the critical molecular hubs used by cancer cells this context have only began to be elucidated. Here, we discussed the results of a recent phenotypic screening that led to the identification of the small GTPase RAB2A, not previously involved in cancer dissemination, as pivotal for the acquisition of pericellular proteolysis, cell dissemination and distant metastatic spreading of human breast cancer...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Ana Rolo, Sarah Escuin, Nicholas D E Greene, Andrew J Copp
Neural tube closure is an important morphogenetic event that involves dramatic reshaping of both neural and non-neural tissues. Rho GTPases are key cytoskeletal regulators involved in cell motility and in several developmental processes, and are thus expected to play pivotal roles in neurulation. Here, we discuss 2 recent studies that shed light on the roles of distinct Rho GTPases in different tissues during neurulation. RhoA plays an essential role in regulating actomyosin dynamics in the neural epithelium of the elevating neural folds, while Rac1 is required for the formation of cell protrusions in the non-neural surface ectoderm during neural fold fusion...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Youtao Liu, Jesus Lacal, Richard A Firtel, Arjan Kortholt
The directional movement toward extracellular chemical gradients, a process called chemotaxis, is an important property of cells. Central to eukaryotic chemotaxis is the molecular mechanism by which chemoattractant-mediated activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) induces symmetry breaking in the activated downstream signaling pathways. Studies with mainly Dictyostelium and mammalian neutrophils as experimental systems have shown that chemotaxis is mediated by a complex network of signaling pathways...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Francisco J Calero-Cuenca, Sol Sotillos
A tight relationship between apico-basal polarity and trafficking is essential for epithelial physiology and tissue homeostasis. Recent studies have described how some Rab GTPases, key components of the intracellular traffic machinery, contribute to the establishment of cell polarity in vertebrates. We have demonstrated a novel connection between cell polarity and trafficking: in Drosophila epithelia, the apical determinant aPKC is recycled via Rab11-Nuf-recycling endosomes to maintain cell polarity. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of Nuf by aPKC allows aPKC to control the sub-cellular localization of Nuf and its own membrane accumulation...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Otilia V Vieira
Disruption of the cell plasma membrane can occur due to mechanical damage, pore forming toxins, etc. Resealing or plasma membrane repair (PMR) is the emergency response required for cell survival. It is triggered by Ca2+ entering through the disruption, causing organelles such as lysosomes located underneath the plasma membrane to fuse rapidly with the adjacent plasma membrane. We have recently identified some of the molecular traffic machinery that is involved in this vital process. Specifically, we showed that 2 members of the Rab family of small GTPases, Rab3a and Rab10, are essential for lysosome exocytosis and PMR in cells challenged with a bacterial toxin, streptolysin-O (SLO)...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Olivier Calvayrac, Anne Pradines, Gilles Favre
Metastatic dissemination is the cause of death in the vast majority of cancers, including lung cancers. In order to metastasize, tumor cells must undergo a well-known series of changes, however the molecular details of how they manage to overcome the barriers at each stage remain incomplete. One critical step is acquiring the ability to migrate through the extracellular matrix. Loss of expression of the RAS-related small GTPase RHOB is a common feature of lung cancer progression, and we recently reported that this induces an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is dependent on SLUG overexpression and E-Cadherin inhibition and is characterized by 3-dimensional cell shape reorganization and the increased invasiveness of bronchial cells...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Liang Zhang, Jeffrey L Wrana
Migratory polarity and epithelial polarity share many common regulatory mechanisms. Rho GTPases play a key role in modulating cell polarity, which in migrating cells has been conventionally studied along the solitary front-rear axis. In recent work, we discovered that Prickle1 (Pk1), a core com-ponent of planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling, mediates a novel lateral signaling pathway that coordinates multi-axial protrusive activities from the lateral cortex of migrating cancer cells. We identified that Arhgap21 and 23 are essential effectors of Pk1, and that lateral signaling regulates RhoA, actomyosin and focal adhesion dynamics...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Campbell D Lawson, Channing J Der
Like RAS proteins, the aberrant function of RHO family small GTPases has been implicated in driving cancer development and growth. However, unlike the RAS family, where gain-of-function missense mutations are found in ∼25% of all human cancers, missense mutations are relatively rare in RHO proteins. Instead, altered RHO activity in cancer more commonly arises through the aberrant functions of RHO GTPase regulators. In many cancer types, altered expression and/or mutation of RHO-selective guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RHOGEFs) or GTPase-activating proteins (RHOGAPs), which activate or inactivate RHO GTPases, respectively, is observed...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Shuting Xia, Zikai Zhou, Zhengping Jia
The Rho family small GTPases and their effectors, including PAKs, are extensively studied in the context of the actin cytoskeleton, excitatory synaptic function, spine morphology and memory formation. However, their roles in inhibitory synaptic function remain poorly understood. We have recently shown that PAK1 is a potent regulator of GABAergic synaptic transmission. Thus, disruption of PAK1 leads to significant impairments in inhibitory postsynaptic currents which are manifested as reduced GABA presynaptic releases...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Diego García-Weber, Jaime Millán
The appearance of multicellularity implied the adaptation of signaling networks required for unicellular life to new functions arising in this remarkable evolutionary transition. A hallmark of multicellular organisms is the formation of cellular barriers that compartmentalize spaces and functions. Here we discuss recent findings concerning the role of RhoB in the negative control of Rac1 trafficking from endosomes to the cell border, in order to induce membrane extensions to restore endothelial barrier function after acute contraction...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Marcelo G Kazanietz, Laura Barrio-Real, Victoria Casado-Medrano, Martin J Baker, Cynthia Lopez-Haber
Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factors (GEFs) are responsible for mediating GDP/GTP exchange for specific small G proteins, such as Rac. There has been substantial evidence for the involvement of Rac-GEFs in the control of cancer cell migration and metastatic progression. We have previously established that the Rac-GEF P-Rex1 is a mediator of actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and cell motility in breast cancer cells downstream of HER/ErbB receptors and the G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) CXCR4. P-Rex1 is highly expressed in luminal A and B breast cancer compared to normal mammary tissue, whereas expression is very low in basal breast cancer, and its expression correlates with the appearance of metastasis in patients...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Daniela Araiza-Olivera, Jonathan Chernoff
Ras oncoproteins can promote or suppress cellular apoptosis, but the mechanisms underlying these varied responses remain incompletely understood. Ras is linked to the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway, a highly conserved signaling cassette that regulates organ size in animals ranging from flies to humans. The proximal members of this pathway, Mammalian Ste20-like kinases (Msts) -1 and -2, self-associate in homodimers and also form heterodimers with other proteins. Formation of such complexes is known to regulate Mst kinase activity and thus, the Hippo pathway...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Lan K Nguyen, Boris N Kholodenko, Alex von Kriegsheim
Cell migration requires a precise temporal and spatial coordination of several processes which allow the cell to efficiently move. The extension and retraction of membrane protrusion, as well as adhesion are controlled by the Rho-family small GTPases. Two members of the family, Rac1 and RhoA, can show opposite behaviors and spatial localisations, with RhoA being active toward the rear of the cell and regulating its retraction during migration, whereas Rac1 is active toward the front of the cell. In addition to the spatial segregation, RhoA and Rac1 activity at the leading edge of the cells has an element of temporal segregation, with RhoA and Rac1 activities peaking at separate points during the migratory cycle of protrusion and retraction...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Jérôme Bouchet, Mary W McCaffrey, Andrea Graziani, Andrés Alcover
Several families of small GTPases regulate a variety of fundamental cellular processes, encompassing growth factor signal transduction, vesicular trafficking and control of the cytoskeleton. Frequently, their action is hierarchical and complementary, but much of the detail of their functional interactions remains to be clarified. It is well established that Rab family members regulate a variety of intracellular vesicle trafficking pathways. Moreover, Rho family GTPases are pivotal for the control of the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton...
July 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Virtu Solano-Collado, Adam Rofe, Stefania Spanò
Our immune system is engaged in a continuous battle against invading pathogens, many of which have evolved to survive in intracellular niches of mammalian hosts. A variety of cellular processes are involved in preventing bacterial invasion or in killing bacteria that successfully invade host cells. Recently, the Rab GTPase Rab32 emerged as critical regulator of a host defense pathway that can eliminate bacterial pathogens. Salmonella enterica is an intracellular bacterium and a major cause of infections and deaths in humans...
May 4, 2018: Small GTPases
Dmitri Sviridov, Nigora Mukhamedova
Emerging evidence points to an important connection between pathogenesis of intracellular infections and host cholesterol metabolism. In our study we demonstrated that human cytomegalovirus exploits host small GTPase Cdc42 to hijack cellular cholesterol efflux pathway. It appears that the virus uses host machinery to stimulate cholesterol efflux by modifying lipid rafts and altering properties of plasma membrane, but the altered pathway is controlled by the viral protein US28 instead of the host ATP binding cassette transporter A1...
May 4, 2018: Small GTPases
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