The role of ras proteins in insulin signal transduction

Horm Metab Res. 1992 May;24(5):214-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1003296.


Ras-proteins are guanine nucleotide binding proteins, which, in the GTP bound state emit a strong mitogenic signal. In the GDP bound state, the protein appears inactive. We have found that stimulation by insulin of cells expressing elevated levels of insulin receptors results in a rapid conversion of Ras-GDP into Ras-GTP. This process is part of the signalling pathway leading to immediate-early gene expression and a mitogenic response. There seems to be no involvement of Ras-GTP formation in the process of insulin stimulated glucose transport. Though the precise mechanism by which Ras is converted to the GTP bound state remains to be established, a tight correlation exists between receptor autophosphorylation and Ras-GTP formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genes, ras / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Insulin