, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 1-9

The Rop GTPase: an emerging signaling switch in plants

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Abstract

G proteins are ubiquitous molecular switches in eukaryotic signal transduction, but their roles in plant signal transduction had not been clearly established until recent studies of the plant-specific Rop subfamily of RHO GTPases. Rop participates in signaling to an array of physiological processes including cell polarity establishment, cell growth, morphogenesis, actin dynamics, H2O2 generation, hormone responses, and probably many other cellular processes in plants. Evidence suggests that plants have developed unique molecular mechanisms to control this universal molecular switch through novel GTPase-activating proteins and potentially through a predominant class of plant receptor-like serine/threonine kinases. Furthermore, the mechanism by which Rop regulates specific processes may also be distinct from that for other GTPases. These advances have raised the exciting possibility that the elucidation of Rop GTPase signaling may lead to the establishment of a new paradigm for G protein-dependent signal transduction in plants.