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J Phys Chem B. 2017 Jun 22;121(24):5917-5927. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b03035. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

PDEδ Binding to Ras Isoforms Provides a Route to Proper Membrane Localization.

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Cancer and Inflammation Program, National Cancer Institute at Frederick and Basic Science Program, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Leidos Biomedical Research Inc. , Frederick, Maryland 21702, United States.
Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University , Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.


To signal, Ras isoforms must be enriched at the plasma membrane (PM). It was suggested that phosphodiesterase-δ (PDEδ) can bind and shuttle some farnesylated Ras isoforms to the PM, but not all. Among these, interest focused on K-Ras4B, the most abundant oncogenic Ras isoform. To study PDEδ/Ras interactions, we modeled and simulated the PDEδ/K-Ras4B complex. We obtained structures, which were similar to two subsequently determined crystal structures. We next modeled and simulated complexes of PDEδ with the farnesylated hypervariable regions of K-Ras4A and N-Ras. Earlier data suggested that PDEδ extracts K-Ras4B and N-Ras from the PM, but surprisingly not K-Ras4A. Earlier analysis of the crystal structures advanced that the presence of large/charged residues adjacent to the farnesylated site precludes the PDEδ interaction. Here, we show that PDEδ can bind to farnesylated K-Ras4A and N-Ras like K-Ras4B, albeit not as strongly. This weaker binding, coupled with the stronger anchoring of K-Ras4A in the membrane (but not of electrostatically neutral N-Ras), can explain the observation why PDEδ is unable to effectively extract K-Ras4A. We thus propose that farnesylated Ras isoforms can bind PDEδ to fulfill the required PM enrichment, and argue that the different environments, PM versus solution, can resolve apparently puzzling Ras observations. These are novel insights that would not be expected based on the crystal structures alone, which provide an elegant rationale for previously puzzling observations of the differential effects of PDEδ on farnesylated Ras family proteins.

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