Research Articles

Induction of membrane ruffling and fluid-phase pinocytosis in quiescent fibroblasts by ras proteins

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Science  05 Sep 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4768, pp. 1061-1068
DOI: 10.1126/science.3090687


Expression of the ras oncogene is thought to be one of the contributing events in the initiation of certain types of human cancer. To determine the cellular activities that are directly triggered by ras proteins, the early consequences of microinjection of the human H-ras proteins into quiescent rat embryo fibroblasts were investigated. Within 30 minutes to 1 hour after injection, cells show a marked increase in surface ruffles and fluid-phase pinocytosis. The rapid enhancement of membrane ruffling and pinocytosis is induced by both the proto-oncogenic and the oncogenic forms of the H-ras protein. The effects produced by the oncogenic protein persist for more than 15 hours after injection, whereas the effects of the proto-oncogenic protein are short-lived, being restricted to a 3-hour interval after injection. The stimulatory effect of the ras oncogene protein on ruffling and pinocytosis is dependent on the amount of injected protein and is accompanied by an apparent stimulation of phospholipase A2 activity. These rapid changes in cell membrane activities induced by ras proteins may represent primary events in the mechanism of action of ras proteins.

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