Monomeric Rho GTPases regulate cellular dynamics through remodeling of the cytoskeleton, modulation of immediate signaling pathways, and longer-term regulation of gene transcription. One family of guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Rho proteins (RhoGEFs) provides a direct pathway for regulation of RhoA by cell surface receptors coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins. Some of these RhoGEFs also contain RGS domains that can attenuate signaling by the G12 and G13 proteins. The regulation provided by these RhoGEFs is defined by their selective regulation by specific G proteins, phosphorylation by kinases, and potential localization with signaling partners. Evidence of their physiological importance is derived from gene knockouts in Drosophila and mice. Current understanding of the basic regulatory mechanisms of these RhoGEFs is discussed. An overview of identified interactions with other signaling proteins suggests the growing spectrum of their involvement in numerous signaling pathways.
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