Ras nanoclusters: Versatile lipid-based signaling platforms

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Apr;1853(4):841-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.09.008. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Ras proteins assemble into transient nanoclusters on the plasma membrane. Nanoclusters are the sites of Ras effector recruitment and activation and are therefore essential for signal transmission. The dynamics of nanocluster formation and disassembly result in interesting emergent properties including high-fidelity signal transmission. More recently the lipid structure of Ras nanoclusters has been reported and shown to contribute to isoform-specific Ras signaling. In addition specific lipids play critical roles in mediating the formation, stability and dynamics of Ras nanoclusters. In consequence the spatiotemporal organization of these lipids has emerged as important and novel regulators of Ras function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nanoscale membrane organisation and signalling.

Keywords: Nanoclusters; Ras proteins; Spatial cross talk; cholesterol; lateral segregation; phosphatidylserine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • ras Proteins / metabolism*


  • Lipids
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • ras Proteins