Rho GTPase Function in Cell Morphogenesis
Published Online: 15 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Pedersen, E. and Brakebusch, C. 2010. Rho GTPase Function in Cell Morphogenesis. eLS.
- Published Online: 15 NOV 2010
Cell morphogenesis is the development of a specific cell morphology, which includes the acquisition of cell shape, cell polarity, cell–cell and cell–ECM (extracellular matrix) contacts. Cell morphogenesis is dependent on the interaction of the cell with its environment and therefore not a cell autonomous process. Crucial for cell morphogenesis is the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, regulation of gene expression and activation of different intracellular signalling pathways contribute to cell morphogenesis. Rho guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) are master regulators of the actin cytoskeleton, which affects cell shape and the position of integrins and cadherins, actin cytoskeleton attached cell surface receptors. In addition, Rho GTPases regulate endocytosis, vesicle transport, secretion and gene expression. Not surprisingly, therefore, this family of molecules was found to be particularly important for cell morphogenesis.
Rho GTPases are signal integrators.
Rho GTPases have overlapping functions.
Rho GTPases regulate cell shape by controlling remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton.
Cdc42 regulates different aspects of cell polarity in a cell type-specific manner.
Rho GTPases regulate cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix and to other cells.
- Rho GTPases;
- cell morphogenesis;
- cell shape;
- cell polarity;
- cell–cell adhesion;
- cell ECM adhesion