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Integrins Regulate Rac Targeting by Internalization of Membrane Domains

Science  06 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5659, pp. 839-842
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092571

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Abstract

Translocation of the small GTP-binding protein Rac1 to the cell plasma membrane is essential for activating downstream effectors and requires integrin-mediated adhesion of cells to extracellular matrix. We report that active Rac1 binds preferentially to low-density, cholesterol-rich membranes, and specificity is determined at least in part by membrane lipids. Cell detachment triggered internalization of plasma membrane cholesterol and lipid raft markers. Preventing internalization maintained Rac1 membrane targeting and effector activation in nonadherent cells. Regulation of lipid rafts by integrin signals may regulate the location of membrane domains such as lipid rafts and thereby control domain-specific signaling events in anchorage-dependent cells.

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