Cdc42, Rac1, and their effector IQGAP1 as molecular switches for cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Aug 19;262(1):1-6. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1999.1122.


Cell-cell adhesion is a dynamic process in various cellular and developmental situations. Cadherins, well-known Ca(2+)-dependent adhesion molecules, are thought to play a major role in the regulation of cell-cell adhesion. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the rearrangement of cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion is largely unknown. Cdc42 and Rac1, belonging to the Rho small GTPase family, have recently been shown to be involved in the regulation of cell-cell adhesion. In addition, IQGAP1, an effector for Cdc42 and Rac1, has been shown to regulate the cadherin function through interaction with beta-catenin, a molecule associated with cadherin. In this review, we will summarize the mode of action of Cdc42 and Rac1 as well as IQGAP1 as molecular switches for the cadherin function, and then discuss physiological processes in which the Cdc42/Rac1/IQGAP1 system may be involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Trans-Activators*
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins*


  • CTNNA1 protein, human
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1
  • Trans-Activators
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins