Tools of the trade: use of dominant-inhibitory mutants of Ras-family GTPases

Nat Cell Biol. 1999 Jun;1(2):E25-7. doi: 10.1038/10018.


One of the most powerful ways of studying the function of a protein is to specifically block its activity within cells. Over the past decade, dominant-inhibitory proteins have emerged as popular tools with which to accomplish this task; these mutated proteins interfere with the function of their normal cellular counterparts or with proteins that interact with them. This approach has been used extensively in the elucidation of signal-transduction cascades, such as those involving Ras-family proteins. Here I discuss the power and potential pitfalls of using dominant-inhibitory Ras proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis*
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins