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J Cell Biol. 2002 Jan 7;156(1):125-36. Epub 2002 Jan 3.

Mechanisms through which Sos-1 coordinates the activation of Ras and Rac.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti, 435, 20141 Milan, Italy.

Abstract

Signaling from receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs)* requires the sequential activation of the small GTPases Ras and Rac. Son of sevenless (Sos-1), a bifunctional guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), activates Ras in vivo and displays Rac-GEF activity in vitro, when engaged in a tricomplex with Eps8 and E3b1-Abi-1, a RTK substrate and an adaptor protein, respectively. A mechanistic understanding of how Sos-1 coordinates Ras and Rac activity is, however, still missing. Here, we demonstrate that (a) Sos-1, E3b1, and Eps8 assemble into a tricomplex in vivo under physiological conditions; (b) Grb2 and E3b1 bind through their SH3 domains to the same binding site on Sos-1, thus determining the formation of either a Sos-1-Grb2 (S/G) or a Sos-1-E3b1-Eps8 (S/E/E8) complex, endowed with Ras- and Rac-specific GEF activities, respectively; (c) the Sos-1-Grb2 complex is disrupted upon RTKs activation, whereas the S/E/E8 complex is not; and (d) in keeping with the previous result, the activation of Ras by growth factors is short-lived, whereas the activation of Rac is sustained. Thus, the involvement of Sos-1 at two distinct and differentially regulated steps of the signaling cascade allows for coordinated activation of Ras and Rac and different duration of their signaling within the cell.

PMID:
11777939
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2173577
Free PMC Article
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