Rho GTPase-Formin Pairs in Cytoskeletal Remodelling

  1. Gregory Bock Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Kathryn M. Eisenmann,
  2. Jun Peng,
  3. Bradley J. Wallar and
  4. Arthur S. Alberts

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/047001766X.ch16

Signalling Networks in Cell Shape and Motility: Novartis Foundation Symposium 269

Signalling Networks in Cell Shape and Motility: Novartis Foundation Symposium 269

How to Cite

Eisenmann, K. M., Peng, J., Wallar, B. J. and Alberts, A. S. (2005) Rho GTPase-Formin Pairs in Cytoskeletal Remodelling, in Signalling Networks in Cell Shape and Motility: Novartis Foundation Symposium 269 (eds G. Bock and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/047001766X.ch16

Author Information

  1. Laboratory of Cell Structure and Signal Integration, Van Andel Research Institute, 333 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 9 SEP 2005

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470011904

Online ISBN: 9780470017661



  • diaphanous-related formins (Drfs);
  • Rho GTPase euectors;
  • fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET);
  • gene targeting approaches;
  • Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome (WAS);
  • actin cytoskeleton;
  • nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs);
  • diaphanous-autoregulatory domain (DAD);
  • WASP–formin collaboration


Diaphanous-related formins (Drfs) are members of a conserved formin family of actin-nucleating proteins and are thought to act as Rho GTPase effectors in signal transduction pathways that govern gene expression, cytoskeletal remodelling and cell division. In vitro evidence suggests that the three mammalian Drf proteins—mDia1, mDia2 and mDia3— have distinct GTPase-binding specificities. However, much of our current understanding of GTPase-Drf partnerships in mammalian cell signalling is based on expression studies using Drfs missing their unique GTPase-binding domains. We have employed fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and gene targeting approaches to identify the function of different GTPase-formin pairs in cell signalling. These studies have allowed us to uncover new roles for Drf proteins in cytoskeletal remodelling and novel regulatory mechanisms whereby GTPases influence formin function. Our genetic experiments strongly suggest that Drfs cooperate with other GTPase effector proteins, including the gene product of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome gene, WASP, during the regulation of cell proliferation. Further, the Drf gene knockout experiments indicate that this family of formins has a role in cancer pathophysiology.