The ras genes, which were first identified by their presence in RNA tumor viruses and which belong to a highly conserved gene family in vertebrates, have two close homologs in yeast, detectable by Southern blotting. We have cloned both genes (RAS1 and RAS2) from plasmid libraries and determined the complete nucleotide sequence of their coding regions. They encode proteins with nearly 90% homology to the first 80 positions of the mammalian ras proteins, and nearly 50% homology to the next 80 amino acids. Yeast RAS1 and RAS2 proteins are more homologous to each other, with about 90% homology for the first 180 positions. After this, at nearly the same position that the mammalian ras proteins begin to diverge from each other, the two yeast ras proteins diverge radically. The yeast ras proteins, like the proteins encoded by the mammalian genes, terminate with the sequence cysAAX, where A is an aliphatic amino acid. Thus the yeast ras proteins have the same overall structure and interrelationship as the family of mammalian ras proteins. The domains of divergence may correspond to functional domains of the ras proteins. Monoclonal antibody directed against mammalian ras proteins immunoprecipitates protein in yeast cells containing high copy numbers of the yeast RAS2 gene.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)