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Journal Article

Comparative functional analysis of the Rac GTPases


Blumenstein,  Lars
Department of Biomolecular Mechanisms, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Haeusler, L. C., Blumenstein, L., Stege, P., Dvorsky, R., & Ahmadian, M. R. (2003). Comparative functional analysis of the Rac GTPases. FEBS Letters, 555(3), 556-560. doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(03)01351-6.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-3A7F-2
Small GTPases of the Rho family including Rac, Rho and Cdc42 regulate different cellular processes like reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton by acting as molecular switches. The three distinct mammalian Rac proteins share very high sequence identity but how their specificity is achieved is hitherto unknown. Here we show that Rac1 and Rac3 are very closely related concerning their biochemical properties, such as effector interaction, nucleotide binding and hydrolysis. In contrast, Rac2 displays a slower nucleotide association and is more efficiently activated by the Rac-GEF Tiam1. Modeling and normal mode analysis support the idea that altered dynamics of Rac2 at the switch I region may be responsible for different biochemical properties. These results provide insight into the individual functionalities of the Rac isoforms.