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Nature. 1995 Aug 10;376(6540):524-7.

Calcium activation of Ras mediated by neuronal exchange factor Ras-GRF.

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Department of Biochemistry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Tyrosine kinase receptors stimulate the Ras signalling pathway by enhancing the activity of the SOS nucleotide-exchange factor. This occurs, at least in part, by the recruitment of an SOS-GRB2 complex to Ras in the plasma membrane. Here we describe a different signalling pathway to Ras that involves activation of the Ras-GRF exchange factor in response to Ca2+ influx. In particular, we show that the ability of Ras-GRF to activate Ras in vivo is markedly enhanced by raised Ca2+ concentrations. Activation is mediated by calmodulin binding to an IQ motif in Ras-GRF, because substitutions in conserved amino acids in this motif prevent both calmodulin binding to Ras-GRF and Ras-GRF activation in vivo. So far, full-length Ras-GRF has been detected only in brain neurons. Our findings implicate Ras-GRF in the regulation of neuronal functions that are influenced by Ca2+ signals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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