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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Aug;87(15):5993-7.

Platelet-derived growth factor stimulates formation of active p21ras.GTP complex in Swiss mouse 3T3 cells.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The ras gene product (p21) is a GTP-binding protein and is thought to play an important role in signal transduction of growth and differentiation in many types of mammalian cells. The p21.GTP complex is an active conformation, as described previously for polypeptide chain elongation factors (EF-Tu and EF-G) and heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins). In the study reported here, we measured the amounts of p21-bound guanine nucleotides under various conditions in the G54 cell line, a derivative of Swiss 3T3 cells that overexpresses normal c-Ha-ras. More p21.GTP complexes were present in growing cells than in quiescent cells. When quiescent cells were stimulated with fetal bovine serum to promote DNA synthesis, p21.GTP increased approximately 2-fold. Among a number of purified growth factors, platelet-derived growth factor enhanced the formation of p21.GTP, whereas the combination of bombesin and insulin, which also induces DNA synthesis, did not. These results strongly suggest that p21 is a transducer of the growth signal from the platelet-derived growth factor receptor in Swiss 3T3 cells and that the signal is transmitted through a p21.GTP complex.

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