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Department of Pharmacology

Hennig, A, Markwart, R, Esparza-Franco, MA, Ladds, G, Rubio, I

Ras is a prototypical small G-protein and a central regulator of growth, proliferation and differentiation processes in virtually every nucleated cell. As such, Ras becomes engaged and activated by multiple growth factors, mitogens, cytokines or adhesion receptors. Ras activation comes about by changes in the steady-state equilibrium between the inactive guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-bound and active guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-bound states of Ras, resulting in the mostly transient accumulation of Ras-GTP. Three decades of intense Ras research have disclosed various families of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) as the two principal regulatory elements of the Ras-GDP/GTP loading status. However, with the possible exception of the GEF Sos, we still have only a rudimentary knowledge of the precise role played by many GEF and GAP members in the signalling network upstream of Ras. As for GAPs, we even lack the fundamental understanding of whether they function as genuine signal transducers in the context of growth factor-elicited Ras activation or rather act as passive modulators of the Ras-GDP/GTP cycle. Here we sift through the large body of Ras literature and review the relevant data for understanding the participation and precise role played by GEFs and GAPs in the process of Ras activation.

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Published date: 
August 2015
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Publication type: 
Journal articles
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Biol Chem
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