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Rnd proteins: Multifunctional regulators of the cytoskeleton and cell cycle progression



Rnd3/RhoE has two distinct functions, regulating the actin cytoskeleton and cell proliferation. This might explain why its expression is often altered in cancer and by multiple stimuli during development and disease. Rnd3 together with its relatives Rnd1 and Rnd2 are atypical members of the Rho GTPase family in that they do not hydrolyse GTP. Rnd3 and Rnd1 both antagonise RhoA/ROCK-mediated actomyosin contractility, thereby regulating cell migration, smooth muscle contractility and neurite extension. In addition, Rnd3 has been shown to have a separate role in inhibiting cell cycle progression by reducing translation of cell cycle regulators, including cyclin D1 and Myc. We propose that Rnd3 could act as a tumour suppressor to limit proliferation, but when mutations bypass this activity of Rnd3, it can promote cancer invasion through its effects in the actin cytoskeleton.