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Nat Cell Biol. 1999 Jun;1(2):E25-7.

Tools of the trade: use of dominant-inhibitory mutants of Ras-family GTPases.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachussetts 2110, USA.


One of the most powerful ways of studying the function of a protein is to specifically block its activity within cells. Over the past decade, dominant-inhibitory proteins have emerged as popular tools with which to accomplish this task; these mutated proteins interfere with the function of their normal cellular counterparts or with proteins that interact with them. This approach has been used extensively in the elucidation of signal-transduction cascades, such as those involving Ras-family proteins. Here I discuss the power and potential pitfalls of using dominant-inhibitory Ras proteins.

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