Plasma membrane-associated small GTPase which cycles between active GTP-bound and inactive GDP-bound states. In its active state, binds to a variety of effector proteins to regulate cellular responses such as secretory processes, phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, epithelial cell polarization and growth-factor induced formation of membrane ruffles. Rac1 p21/rho GDI heterodimer is the active component of the cytosolic factor sigma 1, which is involved in stimulation of the NADPH oxidase activity in macrophages. Essential for the SPATA13-mediated regulation of cell migration and adhesion assembly and disassembly. Stimulates PKN2 kinase activity. In concert with RAB7A, plays a role in regulating the formation of RBs (ruffled borders) in osteoclasts. In glioma cells, promotes cell migration and invasion. Required for atypical chemokine receptor ACKR2-induced LIMK1-PAK1-dependent phosphorylation of cofilin (CFL1) and for up-regulation of ACKR2 from endosomal compartment to cell membrane, increasing its efficiency in chemokine uptake and degradation. In podocytes, promotes nuclear shuttling of NR3C2; this modulation is required for a proper kidney functioning. In synapses, seems to mediate the regulation of F-actin cluster formation performed by SHANK3.