R-ras I and R-ras 2 (TC21) homologs Per Winge*, Vercna Gobel*+, Stephen Friend*, and John Fleming*+. MGH Cancer Center and +DepL of Pediatrics, Boston, MA. Human r-ras 1 and r-ras 2 (TC21) belong to the closer relatives (>50% amino acid identity) of ras in the ras superfamily of GDP/GTP-binding proteins. They are the first members to exhibit transforming potential when mutated at some which render ras oncogenic and make it insensitive to GAP action (Graham & Der, 1994). These recent findings have led to current investigations of their role-in human cancer. Furthermore, r-ras 1 -- by immunoprecipitation and in the yeast-2-hybrid-system -- was shown to interact with bc1
-2, the human homolog to ced-9
(Fernandez-Sarabia & Bischoff, 1993) and has thus been implicated as a possible effector of apoptosis. There is evidence that the r-ras proteins participate in some but not all aspects of the ras signal transduction pathway involving upstream tyrosinc kinases and downstream serine/threonine kinases. It has not yet been elucidated in the mammalian system (1) what alternative pathway the r-ras proteins may be utilizing and (2) what functional relevance is represented by the in vitro interaction of r-ras 1 and bc1
-2. We are trying to address these questions in C elegans and have cloned the homologs of r-ras I and r-ras 2 using a degeneratc PCR approach. We have screened c-DNA and genomic libraries and obtamed and sequenced full length c-DNA and genomic clones of r-ras 1 and a full length c-DNA clone of r- ras 2. The genomic sequence of r-ras 2 was recently made available by the genome sequencing project. The amino acid comparison shows high homologyrldentity to thc human proteins for r-ras 1 and r-ras 2 (TC21). R-ras 1 was localizcd to chromosome II ncar lin-29
, and r-ras 2 maps close to embS on chromosome m. To obtain r-ras germline deletions, we have screened a TCl insertion library which we constructed using the mutator strain MT 3126 (protocols kindly proYided by Jocl Rothman, Susan Mango and Ed Maryon), and have isolated transposon insertions in r-ras 1. We are currently in the proccss of sib sclection to purify the strains. To get some first appreciation of a functional role of r-ras towards apoptosis versus growth stimulating propertics, we have also started to inject a r-ras 1 hcat shock promotor expression construct to generatc strains in which r-ras can be overexpressed Ihis additional approach has been choscn since redundancy may be expected in thc ras related protcin familics and thus thc knockout of one of the proteins may not give clear results. We will screen the overexpressing strains for (1) apoptosis and (2) muv phcnotype. In collaboration with Bob Horvitz's laboratory r-ras GST fusion proteins will be generated to test the in vitro interacion with ccd-9
. Finally, we are constructing r-ras 1 and r-ras 2 promotor expression vectors with GFP/betaGAL to define the expression patterns of both genes.