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Bioessays. 1996 Feb;18(2):103-12.

The small nuclear GTPase Ran: how much does it run?

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Department of Biochemistry, New York University Medical Center, NY 10016, USA.


Ran is one of the most abundant and best conserved of the small GTP binding and hydrolyzing proteins of eukaryotes. It is located predominantly in cell nuclei. Ran is a member of the Ras family of GTPases, which includes the Ras and Ras-like proteins that regulate cell growth and division, the Rho and Rac proteins that regulate cytoskeletal organization and the Rab proteins that regulate vesicular sorting. Ran differs most obviously from other members of the Ras family in both its nuclear localization, and its lack of sites required for post-translational lipid modification. Ran is, however, similar to other Ras family members in requiring a specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) and a specific GTPase activating protein (GAP) as stimulators of overall GTPase activity. In this review, the multiple cellular functions of Ran are evaluated with respect to its known biochemistry and molecular interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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