Mutations of the Ras proteins HRAS, KRAS4A, KRAS4B, and NRAS are associated with a high percentage of all human cancers. The proteins are composed of highly homologous N-terminal catalytic or globular domains, plus C-terminal hypervariable regions (HVRs). Post-translational modifications of all RAS HVRs helps target RAS proteins to cellular membrane locations where they perform their signaling functions. For the predominant KRAS4 isoform, KRAS4B, post-translational farnesylation and carboxymethylation, along with a patch of HVR basic residues help foster membrane binding. Recent investigations implicate membrane-bound RAS dimers, oligomers, and nanoclusters as landing pads for effector proteins that relay RAS signals. The details of these RAS signaling platforms have not been elucidated completely, in part due to the difficulties in preparing modified proteins. We have employed properly farnesylated and carboxymethylated KRAS4B in lipid monolayer incubations to examine how the proteins assemble on membranes. Our results reveal novel insights into to how KRAS4B may organize on membranes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology