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Oncogene. 1995 Aug 3;11(3):447-54.

Different structural requirements within the switch II region of the Ras protein for interactions with specific downstream targets.

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Dept. Mole. Biology, Bristol Myers & Squibb Research Institute, Princeton, New Jersey 08543, USA.


Ras proteins function through the formation of specific complexes with Raf-1, B-raf, PI-3 kinase and RalGDS. These interactions all require Ras-GTP with an intact effector binding domain (Switch I region). We have examined the requirements of the Switch II region (amino acids 60-72) for the production of stable interactions between Ras and its downstream effectors. A point mutation at position 65 or 64 combined with additional mutations at either position 65 or 71 rendered nucleotide-free Ras protein unable to stably interact with Ras specific guanine nucleotide exchange factors. Ha-Ras containing point mutations at positions 65 and 71 possessed a twofold higher affinity for B-raf and consequently MEK1. The point mutation at 64, in combination with additional point mutations at either position 65 or 71, resulted in a protein which failed to interact with either PI-3 kinase or neurofibromin, though these Ras mutants effectively bound both Raf-1 and B-raf. An activated form of Ras, Q61L-Ras, associated with all effector proteins independent of the bound guanine nucleotide. Q61L-Ras-GDP was almost as effective as wild type Ras-GMPPNP in the in vitro activation of MEK1 and MAP kinase. Competitive studies with the catalytic domain if neurofibromin, NF1-GRD, demonstrated that its interaction with Ras-GMPPNP is mutually exclusive with both Raf-1 and B-raf. These data suggest that rasGAP and neurofibromin are unable to downregulate Ras-GTP complexed to Raf-1 or B-raf.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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