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

Ovarian expression of cellular Ki-ras p21 varies with physiological status.

To elucidate the potential role of the ras protooncogene proteins in a specific tissue, the present study determined the levels of individual c-ras-encoded p21 proteins in the rat ovary during various stages of physiological function. p21 protein was extracted from ovaries taken from immature normal female rats, mature nonpregnant animals in the metestrus stage of the estrus cycle, rats at various stages of pregnancy, and actively lactating animals. Levels of individual p21s were evaluated by immunoblot analysis with specific antibodies to the p21 proteins encoded by the Kirsten, Harvey, and neuroblastoma c-ras protooncogenes, c-Ki-ras, c-Ha-ras, and N-ras. Results showed that c-Ki-ras p21 is at its lowest level in the immature ovary and increases with development of the corpora lutea to its highest levels at day 16 of pregnancy, after which levels decline and then rise again during lactation. This pattern, which mimics that of circulating progesterone levels, suggests that ovarian c-Ki-ras p21 levels are regulated and that c-Ki-ras p21 plays a role in the differentiated function of the rat ovary, likely the luteal compartment. In contrast, levels of c-N-ras p21 did not appear to vary with changes in the physiological function of the ovary but appeared to be constitutive. A preferential role for the c-Ki-ras p21 may be due to the documented unique differences in the structure of the carboxyl terminus of this particular c-ras p21.[1]


  1. Ovarian expression of cellular Ki-ras p21 varies with physiological status. Palejwala, S., Goldsmith, L.T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1992) [Pubmed]
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