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Real-Time In-Cell NMR Reveals the Intracellular Modulation of GTP-Bound Levels of RAS.

Cell reports (2020-08-28)
Qingci Zhao, Ryu Fujimiya, Satoshi Kubo, Christopher B Marshall, Mitsuhiko Ikura, Ichio Shimada, Noritaka Nishida

The small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) RAS serves as a molecular switch in signal transduction, and its mutation and aberrant activation are implicated in tumorigenesis. Here, we perform real-time, in-cell nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses of non-farnesylated RAS to measure time courses of the fraction of the active GTP-bound form (fGTP) within cytosol of live mammalian cells. The observed intracellular fGTP is significantly lower than that measured in vitro for wild-type RAS as well as oncogenic mutants, due to both decrease of the guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-GTP exchange rate (kex) and increase of GTP hydrolysis rate (khy). In vitro reconstitution experiments show that highly viscous environments promote a reduction of kex, whereas the increase of khy is stimulated by unidentified cytosolic proteins. This study demonstrates the power of in-cell NMR to directly detect the GTP-bound levels of RAS in mammalian cells, thereby revealing that the khy and kex of RAS are modulated by various intracellular factors.

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