Rho GTPases: masters of cell migration

Small GTPases. 2014;5:e29710. doi: 10.4161/sgtp.29710. Epub 2014 Jun 30.


Since their discovery in the late eighties, the role of Rho GTPases in the regulation of cell migration has been extensively studied and has mainly focused on the hallmark family members Rho, Rac, and Cdc42. Recent technological advances in cell biology, such as Rho-family GTPase activity biosensors, studies in 3D, and unbiased RNAi-based screens, have revealed an increasingly complex role for Rho GTPases during cell migration, with many inter-connected functions and a strong dependency on the physical and chemical properties of the surrounding environment. This review aims to give an overview of recent studies on the role of Rho-family GTPase members in the modulation of cell migration in different environments, and discuss future directions.

Keywords: Rho GTPases; cell migration; microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • rho-Associated Kinases / metabolism


  • Actins
  • rho-Associated Kinases
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins