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Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Jul;24(14):6311-23.

Distinct mechanisms determine the patterns of differential activation of H-Ras, N-Ras, K-Ras 4B, and M-Ras by receptors for growth factors or antigen.

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  • 1The Biomedical Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Although GTPases of the Ras family have been implicated in many aspects of the regulation of cells, little is known about the roles of individual family members. Here, we analyzed the mechanisms of activation of H-Ras, N-Ras, K-Ras 4B, and M-Ras by two types of external stimuli, growth factors and ligation of the antigen receptors of B or T lymphocytes (BCRs and TCRs). The growth factors interleukin-3, colony-stimulating factor 1, and epidermal growth factor all preferentially activated M-Ras and K-Ras 4B over H-Ras or N-Ras. Preferential activation of M-Ras and K-Ras 4B depended on the presence of their polybasic carboxy termini, which directed them into high-buoyant-density membrane domains where the activated receptors, adapters, and mSos were also present. In contrast, ligation of the BCR or TCR resulted in activation of H-Ras, N-Ras, and K-Ras 4B, but not M-Ras. This pattern of activation was not influenced by localization of the Ras proteins to membrane domains. Activation of H-Ras, N-Ras, and K-Ras 4B instead depended on the presence of phospholipase C-gamma and RasGRP. Thus, the molecular mechanisms leading to activation of Ras proteins vary with the stimulus and can be influenced by either colocalization with activated receptors or differential sensitivity to the exchange factors activated by a stimulus.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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