Rho/Rho-kinase mediated signaling in physiology and pathophysiology
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The small GTPase Rho is implicated in many cellular functions such as cell adhesion, cell motility and migration, growth control, cell contraction, and cytokinesis. One of its main effectors, Rho-kinase, appears to play a key role in the regulation of force and velocity of actomyosin crossbridging in smooth muscle and nonmuscle cells by inhibiting myosin phosphatase-mediated dephosphorylation of the regulatory chain of myosin II. Abnormal activation of the Rho/Rho-kinase pathway has been shown to play a role in diseases such as hypertension and bronchial asthma. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the physiological and pathophysiological function of the Rho/Rho-kinase mediated pathway in various tissues with a focus on its possible role as a target for therapeutic interventions.
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