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Cell Cycle. 2006 Dec;5(23):2744-7. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Mapping cellular routes of Ras: a ubiquitin trail.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.


The three mammalian Ras isoforms: HRas, NRas and KRas have been widely implicated in the control of cell proliferation, survival, motility and transformation. Although nearly identical with respect to their catalytic and effector-binding properties, HRas, NRas and KRas lead to different biological outcomes in development, cell growth and cancer. This functional distinction is believed to result at least in part from the differential membrane compartmentalization of Ras isoforms. The different distribution of Ras proteins in cellular membranes dictates unique spatio-temporal patterns of activation of effector pathways. This perspective focuses on the factors that control membrane compartmentalization of Ras with an emphasis on a recently discovered novel posttranslational modification of Ras--ubiquitination. The properties of Ras ubiquitination, its contribution to the regulation of Ras intracellular trafficking and finally the influence of Ras ubiquitination on its signaling potential are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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