Rho and Ras GTPases in semaphorin-mediated neuronal development

DOI: 10.4236/abb.2013.41A020   PDF   HTML   XML   3,379 Downloads   5,519 Views  


Neurons are highly polarized cells with a single long axon and multiple dendrites, all of which are actinrich structures. The precise regulation of neuronal cell morphology is a fundamental aspect of neurobiology. The major role of Rho GTPases, which is conserved in all eukaryotes, is to regulate the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Therefore theRhoGTPases are key regulators of neuronal morphology during development besides their canonical functions in actin cytoskeletal regulation, cell migration and cell cycle progression. Semaphorins are a family of secreted or transmembrane proteins, which function through their receptor plexins and/or neuropilins to act as the repulsive or attractive guidance cues for axons and dendrites. It has been demonstrated that the fully activetion of plexins appears to be dependent on the binding of RhoGTPases to theRhobinding domain (RBD) and Semaphorin to the extracellular region. Here, we summarize the functions of the small Rho GTPases in two well-studied vertebrate Semaphorins, Sema3Aand Sema4D; and the potential roles of the small Rho GTPases in some poorly-studied vertebrate Semaphorins Sema5A, Sema6Aand Sema7A. We also summarize the functions of different members of Ras family, R-Ras, M-Ras and Rap, in Semaphorin signalling pathways as well.

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Fan, L. and ?, M. (2013) Rho and Ras GTPases in semaphorin-mediated neuronal development. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 136-142. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.41A020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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