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Biochemical Society transactions

Spatiotemporal regulation of the Pak1 kinase.


PMID 16042564

Abstract

Pak1 (p21-activated kinase 1) is a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, adhesion and cell motility. Such biological roles require a tight spatial and kinetic control of its localization and activity. We summarize here the current knowledge on Pak1 dynamics in vivo. Inactive dimeric Pak1 is mainly cytosolic. Localized interaction with the activators Cdc42-GTP and Rac1-GTP stimulates the kinase at the sites of cellular protrusions. Moreover, Pak1 is dynamically engaged into multiprotein complexes forming adhesions to the extracellular matrix. Cutting edge microscopy technologies on living cells are finally shedding light on the intricate spatiotemporal mechanisms regulating Pak1.