You are currently viewing the abstract.View Full Text
Ras small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) are involved in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and survival and are mutated in as many as 30% of human cancers. These proto-oncogenic GTPases are mostly involved in the activation of signaling cascades downstream from growth factor receptors and lead to transcriptional activation of specific genes. Because of a complex series of posttranslational COOH-terminal modifications, Ras proteins are found on various intracellular membranes, in addition to the plasma membrane. Using a novel fluorescent probe monitoring GTP-bound Ras in live cells (GFP-Raf-1-RBS), Golgi-associated H-Ras was shown to be activated in situ after growth factor stimulation, with kinetics distinct from that of H-Ras activation at the plasma membrane. Furthermore and also noteworthy, an oncogenic H-Ras chimera that was tethered to the endoplasmic reticulum activated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt pathways preferentially, whereas a Golgi-tethered oncogenic H-Ras chimera activated predominantly the Jun-NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway. Thus, the subcellular localization of Ras influenced which downstream effector pathways were engaged. The activation of Golgi-H-Ras may be mediated by second messengers through the action of a Golgi-localized guanine nucleotide exchange factor, Ras-GRP.