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Reeder MK , Serebriiskii IG , Golemis EA , Chernoff J
Analysis of small GTPase signaling pathways using p21-activated kinase mutants that selectively couple to Cdc42
J Biol Chem. 2001 Nov 2;276(44) :40606-13
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p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1) is an effector for the small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac. Because Pak1 binds to and is activated by both these GTPases, it has been difficult to precisely delineate the signaling pathways that link extracellular stimuli to Pak1 activation. To separate activation of Pak1 by Cdc42 versus activation by Rac, we devised a genetic screen in yeast that enabled us to create and identify Pak1 mutants that selectively couple to Cdc42 but not Rac1. We recovered several such Pak1 mutants and found that the residues most often affected lie within the p21 binding domain, a region previously known to mediate Pak1 binding to GTPases, but that several mutations also map outside the borders of the p21 binding domain. Pak1 mutants that associate with Cdc42 but not Rac1 were also activated by Cdc42 but not Rac1. In rat 3Y1 cells expressing oncogenic Ha-Ras, the Pak1 mutants defective in Rac1 binding are not activated, suggesting that Ras signals through a GTPase other than Cdc42 to activate Pakl. Similar results were obtained when epidermal growth factor was used to activate Pak1. However, Pak1 mutants that are unable to bind Rac are nonetheless well activated by calf serum, implying that this stimulus may induce Pak activation independent of Rac.
0021-9258 Journal Article