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

Ras farnesyltransferase inhibitors suppress the phenotype resulting from an activated ras mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Attachment of Ras protein to the membrane, which requires farnesylation at its C terminus, is essential for its biological activity. A promising pharmacological approach of antagonizing oncogenic Ras activity is to develop inhibitors of farnesyltransferase. We use Caenorhabditis elegans vulval differentiation, which is controlled by a Ras-mediated signal transduction pathway, as a model system to test previously identified farnesyltransferase inhibitors. We show here that two farnesyltransferase inhibitors, manumycin and gliotoxin, suppress the Multivulva phenotype resulting from an activated let-60 ras mutation, but not the Multivulva phenotype resulting from mutations in the lin-1 gene or the lin-15 gene, which act downstream and upstream of let-60 ras, respectively, in the signaling pathway. These results are consistent with the idea that the suppression of the Multivulva phenotype of let-60 ras by the two inhibitors is specific for Ras protein and that the mutant Ras protein might be more sensitive than wild-type Ras to the farnesyltransferase inhibitors. This work suggests that C. elegans vulval development could be a simple and effective in vivo system for evaluation of farnesyltransferase inhibitors against Ras-activated tumors.[1]


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