A cytosolic protein catalyzes the release of GDP from p21ras

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Science  06 Apr 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4951, pp. 67-69
DOI: 10.1126/science.2181667


The rate of release of guanine nucleotides from the ras proteins (Ras) is extremely slow in the presence of Mg2+. It seemed likely, therefore that a factor might exist to accelerate the release of guanosine diphosphate (GDP), and hence the exchange of GDP for guanosine triphosphate (GTP). Such a factor has now been discovered in rat brain cytosol. Brain cytosol was found to catalyze, by orders of magnitude, the release of guanine nucleotides from recombinant v-H-Ras protein bound with [alpha-32P]GDP. This effect occurred even in the presence of a large excess of Mg2+, but was destroyed by heat or by incubation of the cytosol for an hour at 37 degrees C in the absence of phosphatase inhibitors. The effect was observed with either v-H-Ras or c-H-Ras, but not with p25rab3A, a small G protein with about 30% similarity to Ras. The effect could not be mimicked by addition of recombinant Ras-GAP or purified GEF, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor involved in the regulation of eukaryotic protein synthesis. By gel filtration chromatography, the factor appears to possess a molecular size between 100,000 and 160,000 daltons. This protein (Ras-guanine nucleotide-releasing factor, or Ras-GRF) may be involved in the activation of p21ras.