Defining the network of ROP GTPase signalling and its regulation in root hair development
Matt Smallman School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol. BS8 1UG UK
Rho small GTPases are conserved molecular switches in eukaryotic signal transduction involved in a variety of biological processes such as the establishment of cell polarity and actin remodeling. The GTPase switch is closely controlled through regulatory mechanism involving at least two kinds of negative regulators:
- Rho Guanine nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitors (GDIs)
- Rho GTPase activating proteins (GAPs)
I studied the molecular basis of Rho GTPase signalling in root hairs using:
- An in vitro system to test for direct protein-protein interactions between Rho GTPases and candidate interacting proteins.
- Over-expression of candidate proteins to indicate if specific genes play a critical role in root hair development.
- Co-expression of Rho GTPases and candidate genes using fluorescent proteins to visualise the sub-cellular localisation of the proteins in vivo.