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J Biol Chem. 2002 Oct 4;277(40):37169-75. Epub 2002 Jul 30.

Galectin-1 augments Ras activation and diverts Ras signals to Raf-1 at the expense of phosphoinositide 3-kinase.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiochemistry, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, 69978 Tel-Aviv, Israel.


Ras proteins activate diverse effector molecules. Depending on the cellular context, Ras activation may have different biological consequences: induction of cell proliferation, senescence, survival, or death. Augmentation and selective activation of particular effector molecules may underlie various Ras actions. In fact, Ras effector-loop mutants interacting with distinctive effectors provide evidence for such selectivity. Interactions of active Ras with escort proteins, such as galectin-1, could also direct Ras selectivity. Here we show that in comparison with Ras transfectants, H-Ras/galectin-1 or K-Ras4B/galectin-1 co-transfectants exhibit enhanced and prolonged epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated increases in Ras-GTP, Raf-1 activity, and active extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Galectin-1 antisense RNA inhibited these EGF responses. Conversely, Ras and galectin-1 co-transfection inhibited the EGF-stimulated increase in phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity. Galectin-1 transfection also inhibited Ras(G12V)-induced PI3K but not Raf-1 activity. Galectin-1 co-immunoprecipitated with Ras(G12V) or with Ras(G12V/T35S) that activate Raf-1 but not with Ras(G12V/Y40C) that activates PI3K. Thus, galectin-1 binds active Ras and diverts its signal to Raf-1 at the expense of PI3K. This demonstrates a novel mechanism controlling the duration and selectivity of the Ras signal. Ras gains selectivity when it is associated with galectin-1, mimicking the selectivity of Ras(T35S), which activates Raf-1 but not PI3K.

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