p21ras is modified by a farnesyl isoprenoid.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Association of oncogenic ras proteins with cellular membranes appears to be a crucial step in transformation, ras is synthesized as a cytosolic precursor, which is processed to a mature form that localizes to the plasma membrane. This processing involves, in part, a conserved sequence, Cys-Ali-Ali-Xaa (in which Ali is an amino acid with an aliphatic side chain and Xaa is any amino acid), at the COOH terminus of ras proteins. Yeast a-factor mating hormone precursor also possesses a COOH-terminal Cys-Ali-Ali-Xaa sequence. However, while the COOH-terminal cysteine has been implicated as a site of palmitoylation of ras proteins, in mature a-type mating factor this residue is modified by an isoprenoid, a farnesyl moiety. We asked whether the Cys-Ali-Ali-Xaa sequence signaled different modifications for the yeast peptides (farnesylation) than for ras proteins (palmitoylation) or whether ras proteins were similar to the mating factors and contained a previously undiscovered isoprenoid. We report here that the processing of ras proteins involves addition of a farnesyl moiety, apparently at the COOH-terminal cysteine analogous to the cysteine modified in the yeast peptides, and that farnesylation may be important for membrane association and transforming activity of ras proteins.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Casey, PJ; Solski, PA; Der, CJ; Buss, JE

Published Date

  • November 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 8323 - 8327

PubMed ID

  • 2682646

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC298273

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.86.21.8323


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States