Welcome to the Garcia-Mata Lab at the University of Toledo
The research in the lab is centered in understanding the mechanisms of regulation of Rho family of small GTPases. Rho GTPases control many aspects of cell behavior, such as the organization of the cytoskeleton, cell migration, cell–cell and cell–matrix adhesion, cell cycle progression, gene expression and cell polarity.
Rho proteins act as molecular switches by cycling between an active (GTP bound) and an inactive (GDP bound) state. The activation of Rho proteins is mediated by specific guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), which catalyze the exchange of GDP for GTP. In their active state, GTPases interact with high affinity with one of several downstream effectors to modulate their activity and localization. The signal is terminated by hydrolysis of GTP to GDP a reaction that is stimulated by GTPase activating proteins (GAPs). In addition, guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (GDIs) negatively regulate Rho GTPases by sequestering Rho proteins and interfering with both the GDP/GTP exchange and the GTP hydrolysis
Current projects in the lab address the role of GTPases in podosomes and invadopodia formation, theregulation of Rho-GEFs by scaffolding proteins, and the function of RhoA in the nucleus.