The small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Rho is implicated in the formation of stress fibers and focal adhesions in fibroblasts stimulated by extracellular signals such as lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Rho-kinase is activated by Rho and may mediate some biological effects of Rho. Microinjection of the catalytic domain of Rho-kinase into serum-starved Swiss 3T3 cells induced the formation of stress fibers and fOCal adhesions, whereas microinjection of the inactive catalytic domain, the Rho-binding domain, or the pleckstrin-homology domain inhibited the LPA-induced formation of stress fibers and focal adhesions. Thus, Rho-kinase appears to mediate signals from Rho and to induce the formation of stress fibers and focal adhesions.
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