Rho family GTPases bring a familiar ring to cell wound repair.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Small GTPases, Volume 6, Issue 1, p.1-7 (2015)


Repair of wounds to single cells involves dynamic membrane and cytoskeletal rearrangements necessary to seal the wound and repair the underlying cytoskeleton cortex. One group of proteins essential to the cortical remodeling is the Rho family of small GTPases. Recently we showed that the founding members of this GTPases family, Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, are all essential for normal single cell wound repair and accumulate at the wound periphery in distinct temporal/spatial patterns in the Drosophila cell wound model. In addition, these proteins communicate with one another and with the cytoskeleton to regulate their distribution in response to wounds. Unexpectedly, we found evidence for context specific Rho GTPase binding to downstream targets or "effectors" which cannot be explained solely by means of local GTPase activation. Here we discuss these observations in relation to similar studies in single cell wound repair in the Xenopus oocyte, and highlight how these cell wound models serve as powerful tools to understand both cell wound repair and Rho GTPase biology.