Protein Kinase N (PKN) and PKN-Related Protein Rhophilin as Targets of Small GTPase Rho

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Science  02 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5249, pp. 645-648
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5249.645


The Rho guanosine 5′-triphosphatase (GTPase) cycles between the active guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-bound form and the inactive guanosine diphosphate-bound form and regulates cell adhesion and cytokinesis, but how it exerts these actions is unknown. The yeast two-hybrid system was used to clone a complementary DNA for a protein (designated Rhophilin) that specifically bound to GTP-Rho. The Rho-binding domain of this protein has 40 percent identity with a putative regulatory domain of a protein kinase, PKN. PKN itself bound to GTP-Rho and was activated by this binding both in vitro and in vivo. This study indicates that a serine-threonine protein kinase is a Rho effector and presents an amino acid sequence motif for binding to GTP-Rho that may be shared by a family of Rho target proteins.

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