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Biochemistry. 2006 Dec 26;45(51):15862-72. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Hydrophilic anilinogeranyl diphosphate prenyl analogues are Ras function inhibitors.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0084, USA.


Sequential processing of H-Ras by protein farnesyl transferase (FTase), Ras converting enzyme (Rce1), and protein-S-isoprenylcysteine O-methyltransferase (Icmt) to give H-Ras C-terminal farnesyl-S-cysteine methyl ester is required for appropriate H-Ras membrane localization and function, including activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade. We employed a Xenopus laevis oocyte whole-cell model system to examine whether anilinogeranyl diphosphate analogues of similar shape and size, but with a hydrophobicity different from that of the FTase substrate farnesyl diphosphate (FPP), could ablate biological function of H-Ras. Analysis of oocyte maturation kinetics following microinjection of in vitro analogue-modified H-Ras into isoprenoid-depleted oocytes revealed that analogues with a hydrophobicity near that of FPP supported H-Ras biological function, while the analogues p-nitroanilinogeranyl diphosphate (p-NO2-AGPP), p-cyanoanilinogeranyl diphosphate (p-CN-AGPP), and isoxazolaminogeranyl diphosphate (Isox-GPP) with hydrophobicities 2-5 orders of magnitude lower than that of FPP did not. We found that although H-Ras modified with FPP analogues p-NO2-AGPP, p-CN-AGPP, and Isox-GPP was an efficient substrate for C-terminal postprenylation processing by Rce1 and Icmt, co-injection of H-Ras with analogues p-NO2-AGPP, p-CN-AGPP, or Isox-GPP could not activate MAPK. We propose that H-Ras biological function requires a minimum lipophilicity of the prenyl group to allow important interactions downstream of the C-terminal processed H-Ras protein. The hydrophilic FPP analogues p-NO2-AGPP, p-CN-AGPP, and Isox-GPP are H-Ras function inhibitors (RFIs) and serve as lead compounds for a unique class of potential anticancer therapeutics.

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