The function of RhoGTPases in axon ensheathment and myelination

Glia. 2008 Nov 1;56(14):1508-1517. doi: 10.1002/glia.20752.


RhoGTPases are molecular switches that integrate extracellular signals to perform diverse cellular responses. This ability relies on the network of proteins regulating RhoGTPases activity and localization, and on the interaction of RhoGTPases with many different cellular effectors. Myelination is an ideal place for RhoGTPases regulation, as it is the result of fine orchestration of many stimuli from at least two cell types. Recent work has revealed that RhoGTPases are required for Schwann cells to sort, ensheath, and myelinate axons. Here, we will review these recent advances showing the critical roles for RhoGTPases in various aspects of Schwann development and myelination, including the recent discovery of their involvement in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Comparison with potential roles of RhoGTPases in central nervous system myelination will be drawn.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / enzymology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology
  • Central Nervous System / enzymology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Humans
  • Myelin Sheath / enzymology*
  • Myelin Sheath / ultrastructure
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / enzymology*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure
  • Peripheral Nervous System / cytology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / embryology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System / enzymology*
  • Schwann Cells / cytology
  • Schwann Cells / enzymology*
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins