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N-terminus-mediated dimerization of ROCK-1 is required for RhoE binding and actin reorganization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

R Garg, K Riento, N Keep, J D H Morris, A J Ridley

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407 - 414
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Published15 Apr 2008

King's Authors


ROCK-I (Rho-associated kinase 1) is a serine/threonine kinase that can be activated by RhoA and inhibited by RhoE. ROCK-I has an N-terminal kinase domain, a central coiled-coil region and a RhoA-binding domain near the C-terminus. We have previously shown that RhoE binds to the N-terminal 420 amino acids of ROCK-I, which includes the kinase domain as well as N-terminal and C-terminal extensions. In the present study, we show that N-terminus-mediated dimerization of ROCK-I is required for RhoE binding. The central coiled-coil domain can also dimerize ROCK-I in cells, but this is insufficient in the absence of the N-terminus to allow RhoE binding. The kinase activity of ROCK-I1-420 is required for dimerization and RhoE binding; however, inclusion of part of the coiled-coil domain compensates for lack of kinase activity, allowing RhoE to bind. N-terminus-mediated dimerization is also required for ROCK-I to induce the formation of stellate actin stress fibres in cells. These results indicate that dimerization via the N-terminus is critical for ROCK-I function in cells and for its regulation by RhoE

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