PerspectiveSignal Transduction

N-WASP Regulation--the Sting in the Tail

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Science  27 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5492, pp. 725-726
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5492.725

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Signaling proteins can be regulated by their interactions with other proteins and phospholipids. As Fawcett and Pawson discuss in their Perspective, activation of the N-WASP protein (which coordinates formation of actin filaments) is far more complex, depending on the interaction of N-WASP with both a protein and a phospholipid. The authors explain new results ( Prehoda et al.) demonstrating that cooperative binding of the phospholipid PIPand the small GTPase Cdc42 to N-WASP results in its activation. The Arp2/3 complex is then able to bind to N-WASP and to proceed with its job of initiating the assembly of actin monomers into actin filaments.