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Oncogene. 2002 Jun 27;21(28):4448-61.

R-Ras C-terminal sequences are sufficient to confer R-Ras specificity to H-Ras.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 2A, Denmark.


Activated versions of the similar GTPases, H-Ras and R-Ras, have differing effects on biological phenotypes: Activated H-Ras strongly transforms many fibroblast cell lines causing dramatic changes in cell shape and cytoskeletal organization. In contrast, R-Ras transforms fewer cell lines and the transformed cells display only some of the morphological changes associated with H-Ras transformation. H-Ras cells can survive in the absence of serum whereas R-Ras cells seem to die by an apoptotic-like mechanism in response to removal of serum. H-Ras can suppress integrin activation and R-Ras specifically antagonizes this effect. To map sequences responsible for these differences we have generated and investigated a panel of H-Ras and R-Ras chimeras. We found that the C-terminal 53 amino acids of R-Ras were necessary and sufficient to specify the contrasting biological properties of R-Ras with respect to focus morphology, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and reversal of H-Ras-induced integrin suppression. Surprisingly, we found chimeras in which the focus formation and integrin-mediated phenotypes were separated, suggesting that different effectors could be involved in mediating these responses. An integrin profile of H-Ras and R-Ras cell pools showed no significant differences; both activated H-Ras and R-Ras expressing cells were found to have reduced beta(1) activity, suggesting that the activity state of the beta(1) subunit is not sufficient to direct an H-Ras transformed cell morphology.

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