Publication Date



FEBS Letters


Mutations of rat sarcoma virus (RAS) oncogenes (HRAS, KRAS and NRAS) can contribute to the development of cancers and genetic disorders (RASopathies). The spatiotemporal organization of RAS is an important property that warrants further investigation. In order to function, wild-type or oncogenic mutants of RAS must be localized to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane (PM), which is driven by interactions between their C-terminal membrane-anchoring domains and PM lipids. The isoform-specific RAS-lipid interactions promote the formation of nanoclusters on the PM. As main sites for effector recruitment, these nanoclusters are biologically important. Since the spatial distribution of lipids is sensitive to changing environments, such as mechanical and electrical perturbations, RAS nanoclusters act as transducers to convert external stimuli to intracellular mitogenic signalling. As such, effective inhibition of RAS oncogenesis requires consideration of the complex interplay between RAS nanoclusters and various cell surface and extracellular stimuli. In this review, we discuss in detail how, by sorting specific lipids in the PM, RAS nanoclusters act as transducers to convert external stimuli into intracellular signalling.


ras Proteins, Cell Membrane, Signal Transduction, Membrane Lipids, Protein Isoforms



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