The Vav family is a group of signal transduction proteins that work as phosphorylation-dependent GDP/GTP exchange factors (GEFs) for GTPases of the Rho subfamily as well as adaptor molecules. This family is composed of three members in vertebrates (Vav1, Vav2, and Vav3) and single representatives in invertebrates (known generically as Vav). By contrast, Vav proteins are missing in unicellular organisms and plants. The first member of this family was discovered in Mariano Barbacid’s lab in 1989 due to the spurious stimulation of its transforming activity during transfections of a human tumor-derived genomic DNA in rodent fibroblasts. Since it was the sixth oncogene isolated in that lab, it received the name of the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Vav). The product encoded by the proto-oncogene was designated as Vav or, taken into consideration its...
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