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Cell Signal. 2004 Oct;16(10):1105-12.

The Rheb family of GTP-binding proteins.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, Molecular Biology Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Rheb proteins represent a novel and unique family of the Ras superfamily GTP-binding proteins that is conserved from yeast to human. Biochemical studies establish that they bind and hydrolyze GTP. Molecular modeling studies reveal a few structural differences between Rheb and Ras, which may suggest that residues involved in biochemical activities differ between the two G-proteins. The function of Rheb has been studied in a number of organisms that point to the involvement of Rheb in cell growth and cell cycle progression. In addition, studies in fungi suggest that Rheb is involved in arginine uptake. Further studies in Drosophila and mammalian cells have shown that the effects of Rheb on growth and cell cycle progression are mediated by the effect on the insulin/TOR/S6K signaling pathway. These studies have also shown that a complex consisting of the tuberous sclerosis gene products, Tsc1/Tsc2, serves as a GTPase activating protein (GAP) for Rheb, implying Rheb's role in this genetic disorder. Finally, Rheb proteins have been shown to be farnesylated and small molecule inhibitors of protein farnesyltransferase can block the ability of Rheb to activate the TOR/S6K signaling.

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