Rat sarcoma (Ras)-like superfamily of small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases)
Ras-like GTPase superfamily. The Ras-like superfamily of small GTPases consists of several families with an extremely high degree of structural and functional similarity. The Ras superfamily is divided into at least four families in eukaryotes: the Ras, Rho, Rab, and Sar1/Arf families. This superfamily also includes proteins like the GTP translation factors, Era-like GTPases, and G-alpha chain of the heterotrimeric G proteins. Members of the Ras superfamily regulate a wide variety of cellular functions: the Ras family regulates gene expression, the Rho family regulates cytoskeletal reorganization and gene expression, the Rab and Sar1/Arf families regulate vesicle trafficking, and the Ran family regulates nucleocytoplasmic transport and microtubule organization. The GTP translation factor family regulates initiation, elongation, termination, and release in translation, and the Era-like GTPase family regulates cell division, sporulation, and DNA replication. Members of the Ras superfamily are identified by the GTP binding site, which is made up of five characteristic sequence motifs, and the switch I and switch II regions.