The WASP (Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein)/SCAR (suppressor of cAMP receptor) family of adaptor proteins regulate actin polymerization by coupling Rho-family GTPases to the activation of the Arp2/3 complex. SCAR exists within a complex of proteins, including Nap1 (Nck-associated protein 1), PIR121 (p53-inducible mRNA 121), Abi2 (Abl-interactor 2) and HSPC300. This complex was first reported to inhibit SCAR activity, but there is now some controversy over whether the complex is inhibitory or activatory. This complex is currently being studied in a wide range of different systems, and model organisms such as the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum have been used to remove genetically SCAR complex members to ascertain their specific roles.
© 2004 The Biochemical Society