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Neuron. 1989 Jan;2(1):1087-96.

ras p21 protein promotes survival and fiber outgrowth of cultured embryonic neurons.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Abteilung Neurochemie, Martinsried, Federal Republic of Germany.


Although evidence obtained with the PC12 cell line has suggested a role for the ras oncogene proteins in the signal transduction of nerve growth factor-mediated fiber outgrowth, little is known about the signal transduction mechanisms involved in the neuronal response to neurotrophic factors in nontransformed cells. We report here that the oncogene protein T24-ras, when introduced into the cytoplasm of freshly dissociated chick embryonic neurons, promotes the in vitro survival and neurite outgrowth of nerve growth factor-responsive dorsal root ganglion neurons, brain-derived neurotrophic factor-responsive nodose ganglion neurons, and ciliary neuronotrophic factor-responsive ciliary ganglion neurons. The proto-oncogene product c-Ha-ras also promotes neuronal survival, albeit less strongly. No effect could be observed with truncated counterparts of T24-ras and c-Ha-ras lacking the 23 C-terminal amino acids including the membrane-anchoring, palmityl-accepting cysteine. These results suggest a generalized involvement of ras or ras-like proteins in the intracellular signal transduction pathway for neurotrophic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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