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J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 26;277(17):15076-84. Epub 2002 Jan 10.

The delta subunit of retinal rod cGMP phosphodiesterase regulates the membrane association of Ras and Rap GTPases.

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INSERM U-528, Institut Curie-Section de Recherche, 75005 Paris, France.


Post-translational modifications of GTPases from the Ras superfamily enable them to associate with membrane compartments where they exert their biological activities. However, no protein acting like Rho and Rab dissociation inhibitor (GDI) that regulate the membrane association of Rho and Rab GTPases has been described for Ras and closely related proteins. We report here that the delta subunit of retinal rod phosphodiesterase (PDEdelta) is able to interact with prenylated Ras and Rap proteins, and to solubilize them from membranes, independently of their nucleotide-bound (GDP or GTP) state. We show that PDEdelta exhibits striking structural similarities with RhoGDI, namely conservation of the Ig-like fold and presence of a series of hydrophobic residues which could act as in RhoGDI to sequester the prenyl group of its target proteins, thereby providing structural support for the biochemical activity of PDEdelta. We observe that the overexpression of PDEdelta interferes with Ras trafficking and propose that it may play a role in the process that delivers prenylated proteins from endomembranes, once they have undergone proteolysis and carboxymethylation, to the structures that ensure trafficking to their respective resident compartments.

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