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Pleiotropic Roles of Calmodulin in the Regulation of KRas and Rac1 GTPases: Functional Diversity in Health and Disease

Departament de Biomedicina, Unitat de Biologia Cel·lular, Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut, Centre de Recerca Biomèdica CELLEX, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Universitat de Barcelona, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3680;
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 21 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calmodulin Function in Health and Disease 2.0)
Calmodulin is a ubiquitous signalling protein that controls many biological processes due to its capacity to interact and/or regulate a large number of cellular proteins and pathways, mostly in a Ca2+-dependent manner. This complex interactome of calmodulin can have pleiotropic molecular consequences, which over the years has made it often difficult to clearly define the contribution of calmodulin in the signal output of specific pathways and overall biological response. Most relevant for this review, the ability of calmodulin to influence the spatiotemporal signalling of several small GTPases, in particular KRas and Rac1, can modulate fundamental biological outcomes such as proliferation and migration. First, direct interaction of calmodulin with these GTPases can alter their subcellular localization and activation state, induce post-translational modifications as well as their ability to interact with effectors. Second, through interaction with a set of calmodulin binding proteins (CaMBPs), calmodulin can control the capacity of several guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) to promote the switch of inactive KRas and Rac1 to an active conformation. Moreover, Rac1 is also an effector of KRas and both proteins are interconnected as highlighted by the requirement for Rac1 activation in KRas-driven tumourigenesis. In this review, we attempt to summarize the multiple layers how calmodulin can regulate KRas and Rac1 GTPases in a variety of cellular events, with biological consequences and potential for therapeutic opportunities in disease settings, such as cancer.
Keywords: Calmodulin; KRas; Rac1; calmodulin-binding proteins; signalling Calmodulin; KRas; Rac1; calmodulin-binding proteins; signalling
MDPI and ACS Style

Tebar, F.; Chavero, A.; Agell, N.; Lu, A.; Rentero, C.; Enrich, C.; Grewal, T. Pleiotropic Roles of Calmodulin in the Regulation of KRas and Rac1 GTPases: Functional Diversity in Health and Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 3680.

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