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FASEB J. 1995 Oct;9(13):1311-8.

Ras target proteins in eukaryotic cells.

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Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202, USA.


The 21 kDa Ras proteins are well known for their regulatory role in oncogenic, mitogenic, and developmental signaling pathways. Less well understood are the downstream signal transduction cascades initiated by Ras in response to external stimuli. Only recently have many diverse studies in lower eukaryotes and vertebrates converged to demonstrate that Ras directly regulates multiple signaling pathways. In most eukaryotes, Ras functions as a positive regulator of an ERK/MAPK signal transduction cascade through the activation of a MEKK. In mammalian cells the primary Ras-responsive MEKK is the protein kinase Raf. Although Raf remains the most significant mediator of Ras signaling in most model systems, it does not explain all the biochemical responses observed in cells with activated Ras proteins. Yeast two hybrid and GST-fusion protein binding studies have identified new proteins distinct from Raf that could interact with Ras in other signaling pathways. In addition to Raf, other potential Ras target proteins include MEKK1, PI(3)K, p120GAP, ralGDS, and PKC zeta. This review will attempt to summarize the current literature of accepted and potential Ras-dependent signaling proteins in both lower eukaryotes and vertebrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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