Characterization of R-Ras3/M-Ras null mice reveals a potential role in trophic factor signaling

Nelson Nuñez Rodriguez, Ivy N.L. Lee, Asoka Banno, Hui F. Qiao, Rui F. Qiao, Zhong Yao, Thuong Hoang, Alec C. Kimmelman, Andrew M.L. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


R-Ras3/M-Ras is a member of the RAS superfamily of small-molecular-weight GTP-binding proteins. Previous studies have demonstrated high levels of expression in several regions of the central nervous system, and a constitutively active form of M-Ras promotes cytoskeletal reorganization, cellular transformation, survival, and differentiation. However, the physiological functions of M-Ras during embryogenesis and post-natal development have not been elucidated. By using a specific M-Ras antibody, we demonstrated a high level of M-Ras expression in astrocytes, in addition to neurons. Endogenous M-Ras was activated by several trophic factors in astrocytes, including epidermal growth factor (EGF), basic fibroblast growth factor, and hepatocyte growth factor. Interestingly, M-Ras activation by EGF was more sustained compared to prototypic Ras. A mouse strain deficient in M-Ras was generated to investigate its role in development. M-Ras null mice appeared phenotypically normal, and there was a lack of detectable morphological and neurological defects. In addition, primary astrocytes derived from Mras -/- mice did not appear to display substantial alterations in the activation of both the mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathways in response to trophic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7145-7154
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2006


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