Small GTPase Rac1: structure, localization, and expression of the human gene.
ABSTRACT Rac1 is a member of the Rho family of small GTPases involved in signal transduction pathways that control proliferation, adhesion, and migration of cells during embryonic development and invasiveness of tumor cells. Here we present the complete structure of the human RAC1 gene and characterize its expression. The gene comprises 7 exons over a length of 29 kb and is localized to chromosome 7p22. The GC-rich gene promoter shows characteristics of a housekeeping gene and Northern blot studies revealed ubiquitous expression of two rac1 transcripts, 1.2 and 2.5 kb in size. The two transcripts are expressed in tissue-specific ratios, reflecting competition between two alternative polyadenylation sites. The RAC1 but not RAC2 gene contains an additional exon 3b that is included by alternative splicing into the variant Rac1b, a constitutively active mutant which induces the formation of lamellipodia in fibroblasts. These data indicate that the RAC1 gene encodes two signaling GTPases. The gene structure reported here will enable studies on the regulation of RAC1 expression during tumorigenesis and development.
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ABSTRACT: GC-boxes and related motifs are frequently occurring DNA-elements present in many promoters and enhancers. In contrast to other elements it was generally thought that the transcription factor Sp1 is the only factor acting through these motifs. The cloning of paralogous genes of the Sp1 factor uncovered the existence of a small protein family consisting of Sp1, Sp2, Sp3 and Sp4. All four proteins exhibit very similar structural features. They contain a highly conserved DNA-binding domain composed of three zinc fingers close the C-terminus and serine/threonine- and glutamine-rich domains in their N-terminal regions. The high degree of structural conservation between these four proteins suggested that they do exert similar functions. Molecular, genetic and biochemical analyses, however, demonstrated that Sp2, Sp3 and Sp4 are not simply functional equivalents of Sp1. Here, I will summarize and discuss recent advances which have been made towards understanding the mode of action and biological function of individual family members.Gene 11/1999; 238(2):291-300. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Small GTPases of the Rho family are involved in the regulation of a variety of cellular processes, such as the organization of the microfilamental network, cell-cell contact and malignant transformation. To address the question of whether Rho proteins are involved in carcinogenesis in man, we compared their expression in tumors from colon, breast and lung with that of the corresponding normal tissue originating from the same patient. As shown by Rho-specific 32P-ADP-ribosylation, as well as Western-blot analysis, the amount of RhoA protein was largely increased in all 3 types of tumors tested. The most dramatic differences in the expression of Rho GTPases were observed in breast tissue. All breast tumors analyzed showed high levels of RhoA, Rac and Cdc42 proteins, whereas in the corresponding normal tissue these Rho proteins were hardly or not detectable. Progression of breast tumors from WHO grade I to grade III was accompanied by a significant average increase in RhoA protein. Overall, increase in the amount of Rho GTPases, in particular RhoA, appears to be a frequent event in different types of human tumors. This supports the view that Rho GTPases are involved in human carcinogenesis.International Journal of Cancer 06/1999; 81(5):682-7. · 6.20 Impact Factor
- Annual Review of Cell Biology 02/1994; 10:31-54.