CZH proteins: A new family of Rho-GEFs

Nahum Meller, Sylvain Merlot, Chittibabu Guda

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


The Rho family of small GTPases are important regulators of multiple cellular activities and, most notably, reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Dbl-homology (DH)-domain-containing proteins are the classical guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) responsible for activation of Rho GTPases. However, members of a newly discovered family can also act as Rho-GEFs. These CZH proteins include: CDM (Ced-5, Dock180 and Myoblast city) proteins, which activate Rac; and zizimin proteins, which activate Cdc42. The family contains 11 mammalian proteins and has members in many other eukaryotes. The GEF activity is carried out by a novel, DH-unrelated domain named the DOCKER, CZH2 or DHR2 domain. CZH proteins have been implicated in cell migration, phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, T-cell activation and neurite outgrowth, and probably arose relatively early in eukaryotic evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4937-4946
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Dock2
  • Dock3
  • Dock4
  • GTPase
  • Zizimin1
  • Zizimin2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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