Mammalian Rho GTPases: new insights into their functions from in vivo studies.
Rho GTPases are key regulators of cytoskeletal dynamics and affect many cellular processes, including cell polarity, migration, vesicle trafficking and cytokinesis. These proteins are conserved from plants and yeast to mammals, and function by interacting with and stimulating various downstream targets, including actin nucleators, protein kinases and phospholipases. The roles of Rho GTPases have been extensively studied in different mammalian cell types using mainly dominant negative and constitutively active mutants. The recent availability of knockout mice for several members of the Rho family reveals new information about their roles in signalling to the cytoskeleton and in development.