Cell adhesion and Rho small GTPases

Masaki Fukata, Masato Nakagawa, Shinya Kuroda, Kozo Kaibuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The Rho small GTPases, Cdc42, Rac1 and Rho, are implicated in regulation of integrin-mediated cell-substratum adhesion and cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. Identification and characterization of effecters of these GTPases have provided insights into their modes of action. Rho-kinase, an effector of Rho, regulates integrin-mediated cell-substratum adhesion (focal adhesion) by regulating the phosphorylation state of myosin light chain (MLC): it directly phosphorylates MLC and also inactivates myosin phosphatase. IQGAP1, an effector of Cdc42 and Rac1, regulates cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion by interacting with β-catenin and dissociating α-catenin from the cadherin-catenins complex. Activated Cdc42 and Rac1 inhibit IQGAP1, thereby stabilizing the cadherin-catenins complex. Cdc42/Rac1 and IQGAP1 thus appear to constitute a switch that regulates cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4491-4500
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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