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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dominant-negative caveolin inhibits H-Ras function by disrupting cholesterol-rich plasma membrane domains.

The plasma membrane pits known as caveolae have been implicated both in cholesterol homeostasis and in signal transduction. CavDGV and CavKSY, two dominant-negative amino-terminal truncation mutants of caveolin, the major structural protein of caveolae, significantly inhibited caveola-mediated SV40 infection, and were assayed for effects on Ras function. We find that CavDGV completely blocked Raf activation mediated by H-Ras, but not that mediated by K-Ras. Strikingly, the inhibitory effect of CavDGV on H-Ras signalling was completely reversed by replenishing cell membranes with cholesterol and was mimicked by cyclodextrin treatment, which depletes membrane cholesterol. These results provide a crucial link between the cholesterol-trafficking role of caveolin and its postulated role in signal transduction through cholesterol-rich surface domains. They also provide direct evidence that H-Ras and K-Ras, which are targeted to the plasma membrane by different carboxy-terminal anchors, operate in functionally distinct microdomains of the plasma membrane.[1]


  1. Dominant-negative caveolin inhibits H-Ras function by disrupting cholesterol-rich plasma membrane domains. Roy, S., Luetterforst, R., Harding, A., Apolloni, A., Etheridge, M., Stang, E., Rolls, B., Hancock, J.F., Parton, R.G. Nat. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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