Different regulation of the Trio Dbl-Homology domains by their associated PH domains

Biol Cell. 2003 Dec;95(9):625-34. doi: 10.1016/j.biolcel.2003.10.002.


Guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Rho-GTPases (Rho-GEFs) invariably share a catalytic Dbl-Homology (DH) domain associated with a Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain, whose function in Rho-GEF activation is not well understood. Trio is the first member of an emerging family of Dbl proteins containing two Rho-GEF domains (GEFD1 and GEFD2). TrioGEFD1 activates the GTPases RhoG and Rac1, while TrioGEFD2 acts on RhoA. In this study, we have investigated the roles of the two PH domains of Trio in Rho-GEF activity. We show that TrioPH1 is required for GEFD1-mediated induction of actin cytoskeleton remodeling and JNK activation. TrioPH1 is involved both in the catalytic activity and in the subcellular localization of its associated DH domain, by acting as a cytoskeletal targeting signal. Moreover, TrioPH1 in association with DH2 activates the JNK pathway, by an unknown mechanism independent of DH2 catalytic activity. TrioPH2 does not behave as a targeting module in intact cells. TrioPH2 inhibits DH2-dependent stress fiber formation, which correlates with the TrioPH2-mediated inhibition of DH2 GEF activity. In addition, expression in the neuron-like PC12 cell line of the intact Trio protein deleted of each PH domain shows that only TrioPH1 is required for Trio-induced neurite outgrowth. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the two PH domains play a different role in the control of Trio Rho-GEF function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • COS Cells
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Line
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / genetics
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / metabolism*
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Neurites / physiology
  • PC12 Cells
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Point Mutation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins