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Keywords:

  • actin cytoskeleton;
  • pathogenic bacterium;
  • post-translational modification;
  • Rho protein;
  • toxin;
  • virulence factor

Small GTPases of the Rho protein family are master regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and are targeted by potent virulence factors of several pathogenic bacteria. Their dysfunctional regulation can lead to severe human pathologies. Both host and bacterial factors can activate or inactivate Rho proteins by direct post-translational modifications: such as deamidation and transglutamination for activation, or ADP-ribosylation, glucosylation, adenylylation and phosphorylation for inactivation. We review and compare these unconventional ways in which both host cells and bacterial pathogens regulate Rho proteins.