Arf GTPase interplay with Rho GTPases in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton

24 Jul 2017

The Arf and Rho subfamilies of small GTPases are nucleotide-dependent molecular switches that act as master regulators of vesicular trafficking and the actin cytoskeleton organization. Small GTPases control cell processes with high fidelity by acting through distinct repertoires of binding partners called effectors. While we understand a great deal about how these GTPases act individually, relatively little is known about how they cooperate, especially in the control of effectors. This review highlights how Arf GTPases collaborate with Rac1 to regulate actin cytoskeleton dynamics at the membrane via recruiting and activating the Wave Regulatory Complex (WRC), a Rho effector that underpins lamellipodia formation and macropinocytosis. This provides insight into Arf regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, whilst putting the spotlight on small GTPase cooperation with emerging evidence of its importance in fundamental cell biology and interactions with pathogenic bacteria.