Rho GTPases and Kidney Disease


The Rho family of small GTPases are molecular switches with a pivotal role in numerous cellular functions. They regulate the actin cytoskeleton, cellular morphology, motility, adhesion, and proliferation 1,2. RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42 are members of the Rho family that play crucial roles in kidney function, particularly in the maintenance of various kidney cell types, such as tubular epithelial cells, mesangial cells, and podocytes 3 (Figure 1). Podocytes are a fundamental component of the glomerular filtration barrier, a structure that prevents the filtration of large proteins and macromolecules into the urine. This glomerular barrier relies on the structural integrity of the actin-based cytoskeleton of the podocytes 4. As a result, dysregulation of GTPases and their downstream effectors has been implicated in both hereditary and idiopathic kidney diseases. The present newsletter will dive into Rho family-dependent nephropathies and their underlying molecular mechanisms.

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Also included in this newsletter:

  • Small G-Protein Tools
  • Related Publications