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ROCK, Rho-associated coiled-coil forming kinases, is a protein serine/threonine kinase that is activated when bound to the GTP-bound form of Rho. The small GTPase Rho regulates formation of focal adhesions and stress fibers of fibroblasts, as well as adhesion and aggregation of platelets and lymphocytes by shuttling between the inactive GDP-bound form and the active GTP-bound form. Rho is also essential in cytokinesis and plays a role in transcriptional activation by serum response factor. ROCK, as a downstream effector of Rho, phosphorylates and activates LIM kinase, which in turn, phosphorylates cofilin, inhibiting its actin-depolymerizing activity. ROCK1 is involved in diverse cellular functions, including smooth muscle contraction, actin cytoskeleton organization, cell adhesion and motility, and gene expression.

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