Volume 2 Issue 1
Jan.  2011
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Yujie Li, Jinghua Hu. Small GTPases and cilia[J]. Protein&Cell, 2011, 2(1): 13-25. doi: 10.1007/s13238-011-1004-7
Citation: Yujie Li, Jinghua Hu. Small GTPases and cilia[J]. Protein&Cell, 2011, 2(1): 13-25. doi: 10.1007/s13238-011-1004-7

Small GTPases and cilia

doi: 10.1007/s13238-011-1004-7
Funds:

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health grant 1R01DK090038 and the PKD Foundation Young Investigator Award 04YI09a to J. H.

  • Received Date: 2011-01-03
  • Rev Recd Date: 2011-01-06
  • Small GTPases are key molecular switches that bind and hydrolyze GTP in diverse membrane-and cytoskeletonrelated cellular processes. Recently, mounting evidences have highlighted the role of various small GTPases, including the members in Arf/Arl, Rab, and Ran subfamilies, in cilia formation and function. Once overlooked as an evolutionary vestige, the primary cilium has attracted more and more attention in last decade because of its role in sensing various extracellular signals and the association between cilia dysfunction and a wide spectrum of human diseases, now called ciliopathies. Here we review recent advances about the function of small GTPases in the context of cilia, and the correlation between the functional impairment of small GTPases and ciliopathies. Understanding of these cellular processes is of fundamental importance for broadening our view of cilia development and function in normal and pathological states and for providing valuable insights into the role of various small GTPases in disease processes, and their potential as therapeutic targets.
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