Who does the hair cell's 'do? Rho GTPases and hair-bundle morphogenesis

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1999 Aug;9(4):394-8. doi: 10.1016/S0959-4388(99)80059-2.


The mechanosensitive hair bundles of vertebrate hair cells exhibit a remarkable variety of shapes. For a given location in a sensory epithelium, however, the shape and polarity of a hair bundle are specified precisely. Recent findings, in particular with analogous experimental systems of actin polymerization, suggest a model of hair-bundle morphogenesis whereby different Rho guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) regulate the initiation phase and the elongation phase of local actin-filament assembly at the hair cell's apical membrane.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / growth & development*
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / ultrastructure
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Actins
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins