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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

Impact factor: 1.660

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukarGeneExpr.v19.i2.40
pages 139-169

Coordinated Regulation of Ras-, Rac-, and Ca2+-Dependent Signaling Pathways

Hans H. Grunicke
Medical University of Innsbruck, Biocenter, Division of Medical Biochemistry, Austria


Stimulation of cells by a broad variety of agonists results in a coordinated activation of Ca2+-, Ras-, and Rac-dependent pathways, which have to synergize to yield the corresponding biological response. This synergy requires a dense net of mutually positive and negative regulatory mechanisms. These include Ca2+-mediated activation of guanine nucleotide exchange proteins, resulting in increased levels of GTP-charged Ras and/or Rac or inactivation of small GTPases by Ca2+-mediated activation of GTPase-activating enzymes. Likewise, Ras as well as Rac control regulatory mechanisms, resulting in increased or diminished levels of cytosolic-free Ca2+. The biochemical mechanisms underlying these effects are discussed, with special reference to regulation of Ca2+ signaling by Ras and Rac.