Insulin regulation of the Ras activation/inactivation cycle
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In addition to mediating a number of metabolic functions, insulin also uses mitogenic pathways to maintain cellular homeostasis. Many of these mitogenic responses are mediated by signals through the small molecular weight guanine nucleotide binding protein, Ras. In the last decade, great progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms which regulate the insulin mediated conversion of Ras from its inactive, GDP-bound state, to the activated GTP-bound form. More recently, it has been appreciated that insulin also regulates the inactivation of this pathway, namely by uncoupling the protein complexes whose formation is required for Ras activation. This review addresses molecular mechanism which both positively and negatively regulate this mitogenic signalling pathway.
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