Pseudoenzymes generally lack detectable catalytic activity despite adopting the overall protein fold of their catalytically competent counterparts, indeed ‘pseudo’ family members seem to be incorporated in all enzyme classes. The small GTPase enzymes are important signaling proteins, and recent studies have identified many new family members with noncanonical residues within the catalytic cleft, termed pseudoGTPases. To illustrate recent discoveries in the field, we use the p190RhoGAP proteins as an example. p190RhoGAP proteins (ARHGAP5 and ARHGAP35) are the most abundant GTPase activating proteins for the Rho family of small GTPases. These are key regulators of Rho signaling in processes such as cell migration, adhesion and cytokinesis. Structural biology has complemented and guided biochemical analyses for these proteins and has allowed discovery of two cryptic pseudoGTPase domains, and the re-classification of a third, previously identified, GTPase-fold domain as a pseudoGTPase. The three domains within p190RhoGAP proteins illustrate the diversity of this rapidly expanding pseudoGTPase group.

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