RHOD: Human Ras homolog gene family, member D
PDB Code: 2J1L
Cells respond in many ways to environmental changes including altering gene expression, physically moving locations, changes to cell-cell interactions, differentiation and even altering their life spans. This is achieved through a signalling network that consists of several signalling pathways. The network receives multiple signals, interprets the signals, amplified and then transmits the signals. One of the best characterised signalling pathways involves the ras GTPase family. The importance of this family of small GTPases to human health was first recognised through the identification of the human H-Ras, N-Ras and K-Ras genes as being oncogenic.
The family of Rho GTPases are involved in cell motility and proliferation through the reorganisation of actin and vesicle trafficking. Activation of RhoD causes decreased motility of endothelial cells and fibroblasts however it confers invasive activity in kidney and colonic epithelial cells.
Intracellularly, RhoD regulates early endosome organisation. The signalling pathway involved in this process involves the proteins c-Src kinase and a splice variant of human Diaphanous with the result that activated RhoD slows down the endosome movement but also markedly blocks motility.
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