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J Biol Chem. 1995 May 19;270(20):11860-5.

RNA1 encodes a GTPase-activating protein specific for Gsp1p, the Ran/TC4 homologue of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Max-Planck Institut für Molekulare Physiologie, Abteilung Strukturelle Biologie, Dortmund, Germany.


Ran/TC4 is a ras-related GTP-binding protein predominantly located in the nucleus. Ran/TC4 is essential for nuclear transport and is involved in mitotic control. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae a gene highly homologous to Ran/TC4 has been identified and named GSP1. Like all ras-related GTP-binding proteins, Gsp1p undergoes cycles of GTP hydrolysis and GDP/GTP exchange. The switching between the two different nucleotide bound states regulates the function of these GTP-binding proteins. Here we identify the product of the yeast RNA1 gene as the GTPase-activating protein (GAP) of Gsp1p. RNA1 belongs to a group of genes which are conserved in a variety of different organisms. We have expressed and purified recombinant Gsp1p and Rna1p from Escherichia coli. The GTPase activity of Gsp1p is stimulated 10(7)-fold by Rna1p. In addition, we find that the previously identified human RanGAP1 and rna1p from Schizosaccharomyces pombe are also able to induce GTPase activity of Gsp1p. The GTP hydrolysis of Ran is induced by RanGAP1 and rna1p but not by Rna1p. Implications for the suggested functions of Ran/TC4/Gsp1p in nuclear transport and mitotic control are discussed.

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