The Rho family GTPases Rac, Rho and Cdc42 are critical in regulating the actin-based cytoskeleton, cell migration, growth, survival and gene expression. These GTPases are activated by guanine nucleotide-exchange factors (GEFs). A biochemical search for Cdc42 activators led to the cloning of zizimin1, a new protein whose overexpression induces Cdc42 activation. Sequence comparison combined with mutational analysis identified a new domain, which we named CZH2, that mediates direct interaction with Cdc42. CZH2-containing proteins constitute a new superfamily that includes the so-called 'CDM' proteins that bind to and activate Rac. Together, the results suggest that CZH2 is a new GEF domain for the Rho family of proteins.