The small GTPases Rho, Rac and Cdc42 (cell-division cycle 42) function as molecular switches to modulate the actin cytoskeleton. They achieve this by modulating the activity of downstream cellular targets. One group of Rho GTPase effectors, WAVE (Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein verprolin homologous)-1, WAVE-2 and WAVE-3, function as scaffolds for actin-based signalling complexes. The present review highlights current knowledge regarding the biochemistry of the WAVE signalling complexes and their biological significance.

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