The role of ubiquitylation and degradation in RhoGTPase signalling

Micha Nethe*, Peter L. Hordijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic


Rho-like guanosine triphosphatases (RhoGTPases) control many aspects of cellular physiology through their effects on the actin cytoskeleton and on gene transcription. Signalling by RhoGTPases is tightly coordinated and requires a series of regulatory proteins, including guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) and guanine-nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (GDIs). GEFs and GAPs regulate GTPase cycling between the active (GTP-bound) and inactive (GDP-bound) states, whereas GDI is a cytosolic chaperone that binds inactive RhoGTPases. Like many other proteins, RhoGTPases are subject to degradation following the covalent conjugation of ubiquitin. There have been increasing indications that ubiquitylation of small GTPases occurs in a regulated fashion, primarily upon activation, and is an important means to control signalling output. Recent work has identified cellular proteins that control RasGTPase and RhoGTPase ubiquitylation and degradation, allowing us to amend the canonical model for GTPase (in)activation. Moreover, accumulating evidence for indirect regulation of GTPase function through the ubiquitylation of GTPase regulators makes this post-translational modification a key feature of GTPase-dependent signalling pathways. Here, we will discuss these recent insights into the regulation of RhoGTPase ubiquitylation and their relevance for cell signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4011-4018
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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