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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 27;276(30):28219-25. Epub 2001 May 2.

Prenylated Rab acceptor protein is a receptor for prenylated small GTPases.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Localization of Ras and Ras-like proteins to the correct subcellular compartment is essential for these proteins to mediate their biological effects. Many members of the Ras superfamily (Ha-Ras, N-Ras, TC21, and RhoA) are prenylated in the cytoplasm and then transit through the endomembrane system on their way to the plasma membrane. The proteins that aid in the trafficking of the small GTPases have not been well characterized. We report here that prenylated Rab acceptor protein (PRA1), which others previously identified as a prenylation-dependent receptor for Rab proteins, also interacts with Ha-Ras, RhoA, TC21, and Rap1a. The interaction of these small GTPases with PRA1 requires their post-translational modification by prenylation. The prenylation-dependent association of PRA1 with multiple GTPases is conserved in evolution; the yeast PRA1 protein associates with both Ha-Ras and RhoA. Earlier studies reported the presence of PRA1 in the Golgi, and we show here that PRA1 co-localizes with Ha-Ras and RhoA in the Golgi compartment. We suggest that PRA1 acts as an escort protein for small GTPases by binding to the hydrophobic isoprenoid moieties of the small GTPases and facilitates their trafficking through the endomembrane system.

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