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The Rho family of small GTPases (Rho GTPases) are the master regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and consist of 22 members. Previous studies implicated dysregulation of Rho GTPases in podocytes in the pathogenesis of proteinuric glomerular diseases. Rho GTPases are primarily regulated by the three families of proteins; guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs; 82 members), GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs; 69 members), and GDP dissociation inhibitors (GDIs; 3 members). Since the regulatory proteins far outnumber their substrate Rho GTPases and act in concert in a cell/context-dependent manner, the upstream regulatory mechanism directing Rho GTPases in podocytes is largely unknown. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the understanding of the role of Rho GTPase regulatory proteins in podocytes, including the known mutations of these proteins that cause proteinuria in humans. We also provide critical appraisal of the in vivo and in vitro studies and identify the knowledge gap in the field that will require further studies. Copyright © 2020 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Jun Matsuda, Kana Asano-Matsuda, Thomas M Kitzler, Tomoko Takano. Rho GTPase regulatory proteins in podocytes. Kidney international. 2021 Feb;99(2):336-345

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PMID: 33122025

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