The small G protein Rho has emerged as a key regulator of cellular events involving cytoskeletal reorganization. Here we report the 2.2 A crystal structure of RhoA bound to an effector domain of protein kinase PKN/PRK1. The structure reveals the antiparallel coiled-coil finger (ACC finger) fold of the effector domain that binds to the Rho specificity-determining regions containing switch I, beta strands B2 and B3, and the C-terminal alpha helix A5, predominantly by specific hydrogen bonds. The ACC finger fold is distinct from those for other small G proteins and provides evidence for the diverse ways of effector recognition. Sequence analysis based on the structure suggests that the ACC finger fold is widespread in Rho effector proteins.
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