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Oncogene. 1997 Oct 2;15(14):1689-97.

An activated mutant of R-Ras inhibits cell death caused by cytokine deprivation in BaF3 cells in the presence of IGF-I.

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Faculty of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan.


R-Ras belongs to a family of low molecular weight GTP-binding proteins and exhibits 55% amino acid identity to H-Ras. It has been demonstrated that H-Ras inhibits cell death caused by interleukin-3 (IL-3) withdrawal in BaF3 cells (Kinoshita et al. (1995b); Terada et al. (1995)). In the present study, we examined whether R-Ras also rescues BaF3 cells from the factor-deprived cell death. To do this, several BaF3 transfectants were established, in which expression of wild-type as well as mutant R-Ras was regulated by an inducible promoter. Using these transfectants, we found that expression of an activated R-Ras mutant, R-Ras (Q87L), suppressed the death of IL-3-deprived BaF3 cells. On the other hand, expression of the wild-type and the dominant-negative mutant of R-Ras showed no inhibitory effect on cell death, indicating that R-Ras x GTP abrogated cell death caused by deprivation of IL-3. Furthermore, it was found that IGF-I in serum was required for the anti-apoptotic activity of R-Ras. Suppression of cell death by R-Ras(Q87L) was inhibited by wortmannin, LY294002 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors), or PD98059 (inhibitor for MEK, a specific activator of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)). In addition, we have shown that, in HEK293 cells, R-Ras and IGF-I could activate MAPK synergistically. Also, PI3K activity was co-immunoprecipitated with an activated mutant of R-Ras. These results suggest that R-Ras in collaboration with IGF-I suppressed apoptotic cell death of BaF3 caused by IL-3 deprivation, presumably by modulating the activitites of MAPK and PI3K.

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