RhoD regulates cytoskeletal dynamics via the actin nucleation-promoting factor WASp homologue associated with actin Golgi membranes and microtubules

Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Dec;23(24):4807-19. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-07-0555. Epub 2012 Oct 19.


The Rho GTPases have mainly been studied in association with their roles in the regulation of actin filament organization. These studies have shown that the Rho GTPases are essential for basic cellular processes, such as cell migration, contraction, and division. In this paper, we report that RhoD has a role in the organization of actin dynamics that is distinct from the roles of the better-studied Rho members Cdc42, RhoA, and Rac1. We found that RhoD binds the actin nucleation-promoting factor WASp homologue associated with actin Golgi membranes and microtubules (WHAMM), as well as the related filamin A-binding protein FILIP1. Of these two RhoD-binding proteins, WHAMM was found to bind to the Arp2/3 complex, while FILIP1 bound filamin A. WHAMM was found to act downstream of RhoD in regulating cytoskeletal dynamics. In addition, cells treated with small interfering RNAs for RhoD and WHAMM showed increased cell attachment and decreased cell migration. These major effects on cytoskeletal dynamics indicate that RhoD and its effectors control vital cytoskeleton-driven cellular processes. In agreement with this notion, our data suggest that RhoD coordinates Arp2/3-dependent and FLNa-dependent mechanisms to control the actin filament system, cell adhesion, and cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / genetics
  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / metabolism
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • COS Cells
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Contractile Proteins / genetics
  • Contractile Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Filamins
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Interference
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex
  • Actins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Contractile Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • FILIP1 protein, human
  • Filamins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • WHAMM protein, human
  • RHOD protein, human
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins