The guanine nucleotide-binding protein Rho has essential functions in T cell development and is important for the survival and proliferation of T cell progenitors in the thymus. To explore the mechanisms used by RhoA to control thymocyte biology, the role of this GTPase in the regulation of integrin-mediated cell adhesion was examined. The data show that RhoA activation is sufficient to stimulate β1 and β2 integrin-mediated adhesion in murine thymocytes. RhoA is also needed for integrin activation in vivo as loss of Rho function impaired the ability of thymocytes to adhere to the extracellular matrix protein VCAM-1 and prevented integrin activation induced by the GTPases Rac-1 and Rap1A in vivo. The regulated activity of integrins is needed for cell motility and in the present study it was seen that RhoA activity is critical for integrin-mediated thymocyte migration to chemokines in vitro. Thus, RhoA has a critical role in regulating cell adhesion and migration during T cell development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy