p21-activated protein kinase: a crucial component of morphological signaling?

Trends Biochem Sci. 1999 Sep;24(9):350-5. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(99)01442-5.


The mechanisms by which Rho family GTPases (Rho, Rac and Cdc42) regulate coordinated changes to the actin cytoskeleton are being elucidated. This review will focus on the current evidence that the p21-activated kinases (PAKs) are involved in regulating some of the diverse cytoskeletal changes induced by Rac and Cdc42. PAKs have been shown to be required for processes including neurite formation and axonal guidance, development of cell polarity and motile responses. Signaling molecules interacting with PAKs that might contribute to the regulation of such processes have recently been identified.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors*
  • Lim Kinases
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein
  • p21-Activated Kinases
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Protein Kinases
  • Lim Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • p21-Activated Kinases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Myosins
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins