Hypoxia and the modulation of the actin cytoskeleton – emerging interrelations
Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology, University Medical Center, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany
Abstract: Recent progress in understanding the influence of hypoxia on cell function has revealed new information about the interrelationship between the actin cytoskeleton and hypoxia; nevertheless, details remain cloudy. The dynamic regulation of the actin cytoskeleton during hypoxia is complex, varies in different cells and tissues, and also depends on the mode of hypoxia. Several molecular players and pathways are emerging that contribute to the modulation of the actin cytoskeleton and that affect the large repertoire of actin-binding proteins in hypoxia. This review describes and discusses the accumulated knowledge about actin cytoskeleton dynamics in hypoxia, placing special emphasis on the Rho family of small guanosine triphosphatases (Rho GTPases). Given that RhoA, Rac and Cdc42 are very well characterized, the review is focused on these family members of Rho GTPases. Notably, in several cell types and tissues, hypoxia, presumably via Rho GTPase signaling, induces actin rearrangement and actin stress fiber assembly, which is a prevalent modulation of the actin cytoskeleton in hypoxia.
Keywords: Rho GTPases, actin dynamics, stress fibers, RhoA
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