Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

RhoGEFs in Cell Motility: Novel Links Between Rgnef and Focal Adhesion Kinase

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 2 ]


N.L.G. Miller, E.G. Kleinschmidt and D.D. Schlaepfer   Pages 221 - 234 ( 14 )


Rho guanine exchange factors (GEFs) are a large, diverse family of proteins defined by their ability to catalyze the exchange of GDP for GTP on small GTPase proteins such as Rho family members. GEFs act as integrators from varied intra- and extracellular sources to promote spatiotemporal activity of Rho GTPases that control signaling pathways regulating cell proliferation and movement. Here we review recent studies elucidating roles of RhoGEF proteins in cell motility. Emphasis is placed on Dbl-family GEFs and connections to development, integrin signaling to Rho GTPases regulating cell adhesion and movement, and how these signals may enhance tumor progression. Moreover, RhoGEFs have additional domains that confer distinctive functions or specificity. We will focus on a unique interaction between Rgnef (also termed Arhgef28 or p190RhoGEF) and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that controls migration properties of normal and tumor cells. This Rgnef-FAK interaction activates canonical GEF-dependent RhoA GTPase activity to govern contractility and also functions as a scaffold in a GEF-independent manner to enhance FAK activation. Recent studies have also brought to light the importance of specific regions within the Rgnef pleckstrin homology (PH) domain for targeting the membrane. As revealed by ongoing Rgnef-FAK investigations, exploring GEF roles in cancer will yield fundamental new information on the molecular mechanisms promoting tumor spread and metastasis.


Cell motility, Dbl-related GEF, FAK, integrin signaling, Rgnef/ARHGEF28, RhoGTPase.


University of California San Diego, Moores Cancer Center, Department of Reproductive Medicine, MC 0803, 3855 Health Sciences Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093 USA.

Read Full-Text article