The Journal of biological chemistry

Characterization and properties of dominant-negative mutants of the ras-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor CDC25(Mm).

PMID 10593969


Ras proteins are small GTPases playing a pivotal role in cell proliferation and differentiation. Their activation depends on the competing action of GTPase activating proteins and guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEF). The properties of two dominant-negative mutants within the catalytic domains of the ras-specific GEF, CDC25(Mm), are described. In vitro, the mutant GEF(W1056E) and GEF(T1184E) proteins are catalytically inactive, are able to efficiently displace wild-type GEF from p21(ras), and strongly reduce affinity of the nucleotide-free ras x GEF complex for the incoming nucleotide, thus resulting in the formation of a stable ras.GEF binary complex. Consistent with their in vitro properties, the two mutant GEFs bring about a dramatic reduction in ras-dependent fos-luciferase activity in mouse fibroblasts. The stable ectopic expression of the GEF(W1056E) mutant in smooth muscle cells effectively reduced growth rate and DNA synthesis with no detectable morphological changes.