Penile erection is a complicated event involving the regulation of corpus cavernosal smooth muscle tone. Recently, the small monomeric G-protein RhoA and its downstream effector Rho-kinase have been proposed to be important players for mediating vasoconstriction in the penis. RhoA/Rho-kinase increases MLC (myosin light chain) phosphorylation through inhibition of MLCP (MLC phosphatase) thereby increasing Ca2+ sensitivity. This review will outline the RhoA/Rho-kinase signalling pathway, including the upstream regulators, guanine nucleotide exchange factors, GDP dissociation inhibitors and GTPase-activating proteins. We also summarize the current knowledge about the physiological roles of RhoA/Rho-kinase in both male and female erectile tissues and its aberrations contributing to erectile dysfunction in several disease states. Understanding the RhoA/Rho-kinase signalling pathway in the regulation of erection is important for the development of therapeutic interventions for erectile dysfunction.
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Review Article| January 17 2006
RhoA/Rho-kinase in erectile tissue: mechanisms of disease and therapeutic insights
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Liming Jin, Arthur L. Burnett; RhoA/Rho-kinase in erectile tissue: mechanisms of disease and therapeutic insights. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 February 2006; 110 (2): 153–165. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20050255
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