Rho GTPases and actin dynamics in membrane protrusions and vesicle trafficking

Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Oct;16(10):522-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2006.08.006. Epub 2006 Sep 1.


Rho GTPases are well known to regulate actin dynamics. They activate two types of actin nucleators, WASP/WAVE proteins and Diaphanous-related formins (DRFs), which induce different types of actin organization. Their ability to interact with membranes allows them to target actin polymerization to discrete sites on the plasma membrane and to intracellular membrane compartments and thereby induce membrane protrusions or regulate vesicle movement. Most studies have concentrated on just three of the 22 mammalian Rho proteins, RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42. However, recent research indicates that several other members of the Rho family, including Rif, RhoD, TC10 and Wrch1, and also related Rho-of-plants proteins (ROPs) in plants, stimulate actin polymerization and affect plasma membrane protrusion and/or vesicular traffic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins