Interaction of ezrin with the novel guanine nucleotide exchange factor PLEKHG6 promotes RhoG-dependent apical cytoskeleton rearrangements in epithelial cells

Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Dec;18(12):4780-93. doi: 10.1091/mbc.e06-12-1144. Epub 2007 Sep 19.


The mechanisms underlying functional interactions between ERM (ezrin, radixin, moesin) proteins and Rho GTPases are not well understood. Here we characterized the interaction between ezrin and a novel Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor, PLEKHG6. We show that ezrin recruits PLEKHG6 to the apical pole of epithelial cells where PLEKHG6 induces the formation of microvilli and membrane ruffles. These morphological changes are inhibited by dominant negative forms of RhoG. Indeed, we found that PLEKHG6 activates RhoG and to a much lesser extent Rac1. In addition we show that ezrin forms a complex with PLEKHG6 and RhoG. Furthermore, we detected a ternary complex between ezrin, PLEKHG6, and the RhoG effector ELMO. We demonstrate that PLEKHG6 and ezrin are both required in macropinocytosis. After down-regulation of either PLEKHG6 or ezrin expression, we observed an inhibition of dextran uptake in EGF-stimulated A431 cells. Altogether, our data indicate that ezrin allows the local activation of RhoG at the apical pole of epithelial cells by recruiting upstream and downstream regulators of RhoG and that both PLEKHG6 and ezrin are required for efficient macropinocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / chemistry
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / genetics
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Sequence Alignment
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • PLEKHG6 protein, human
  • ezrin
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins