Relationship among guanine nucleotide exchange, GTP hydrolysis, and transforming potential of mutated ras proteins

Mol Cell Biol. 1988 Jun;8(6):2472-8. doi: 10.1128/mcb.8.6.2472-2478.1988.


The effect of a series of mutations on the transforming potential of normal human rasH has been compared with their effects on GTPase and guanine nucleotide exchange rates of p21. The mutation Val-146 resulted in partial activation of transforming potential which could be attributed to a greater than 1,000-fold-increased rate of nucleotide exchange in the absence of an effect on GTPase. In contrast, the more modest enhancement of exchange rate (approximately 100-fold) which resulted from the mutation Met-14 did not affect biological activity. The partially activating mutation Thr-59 was found to result in both a 5-fold reduction in GTPase and a 10-fold increase in nucleotide exchange. However, the nontransforming mutant Ile-59 displayed a comparable decrease in GTPase without an effect on nucleotide exchange. The activating effect of the Thr-59 mutation may thus represent a combined effect of reduced GTPase and increased exchange. Similarly, the strongly activating mutation Leu-61 resulted in a fivefold increase in nucleotide exchange in addition to decreased GTPase, whereas weakly activating mutations at position 61 (Trp and Pro) resulted only in decreased GTPase without affecting nucleotide exchange rates. Finally, combining the two mutations Met-14 and Ile-59, which alone had no effect on biological activity, yielded a double mutant with a 20-fold increased transforming potential, demonstrating a synergistic effect of these two mutations. Overall, these results indicate that large increases in nucleotide exchange can activate ras transforming potential in the absence of decreased GTPase and that relatively modest increases in nucleotide exchange can act synergistically with decreased GTPase to contribute to ras activation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism
  • Guanosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Transfection


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Guanosine Diphosphate
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • HRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)