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Cell. 1984 Aug;38(1):109-17.

Microinjection of the oncogene form of the human H-ras (T-24) protein results in rapid proliferation of quiescent cells.


Using an E. coli expression-vector system we have efficiently produced, purified, and characterized the full-length, nonfused, protooncogenic and oncogenic (T-24) forms of the human H-ras gene product. These purified ras proteins have been introduced by microinjection into a variety of somatic cells in an effort to examine their function. Within several hours after injection of the oncogenic form of the human H-ras protein into quiescent cells, we observe dramatic morphological changes followed by transient proliferation of the cells. In contrast, microinjection of the normal, protooncogenic form of the ras protein at the same level appears to have only little effect on the cells. Additional experiments indicate that the effect of the ras protein requires entry into the cells, is temporary, is inhibited by cycloheximide or actinomycin D, and is seen only in established cell lines. This experimental approach demonstrates that the bacterially derived and purified human H-ras proteins retain their ability to function when put back into mammalian cells and furthermore, provides a novel assay for transformation induced in established cells by the human H-ras oncogene protein.

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