Identification and Characterization of RA-GEF-2, a Rap Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor That Serves as a Downstream Target of M-Ras

Xianlong Gao, Takaya Satoh, Yanhong Liao, Chunhua Song, Chang Deng Hu, Ken Ichi Kariya, Tohru Kataoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The Ras family small GTPase Rap is regulated by an array of specific guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) in response to upstream stimuli. RA-GEF-1 was identified as a novel Rap GEF, which possesses a Ras/Rap1-associating (RA) domain. Here we report a protein closely related to RA-GEF-1, named RA-GEF-2. Like RA-GEF-1, a putative cyclic nucleotide monophosphate-binding domain, a Ras exchanger motif, a PSD-95/DlgA/ZO-1 domain, and an RA domain in addition to the GEF catalytic domain are found in RA-GEF-2. However, RA-GEF-2 displays a different tissue distribution profile from that of RA-GEF-1. RA-GEF-2 stimulates guanine nucleotide exchange of both Rap1 and Rap2, but not Ha-Ras. The RA domain of RA-GEF-2 binds to M-Ras in a GTP-dependent manner, but not to other Ras family GTPases tested, including Ha-Ras, N-Ras, Rap1A, Rap2A, R-Ras, Ra1A, Rin, Rit, and Rheb, in contrast to the RA domain of RA-GEF-1, which specifically binds to Rap1. In accordance with this, RA-GEF-2 colocalizes with activated M-Ras in the plasma membrane in COS-7 cells, suggesting a role of RA-GEF-2 in the regulation of Rap1 and Rap2, particularly in the plasma membrane. In fact, an increase in the level of the GTP-bound form of plasma membrane-located Rap1 was observed when co-expressed with RA-GEF-2 and activated M-Ras. Thus, RA-GEF-2 acts as a GEF for Rap1 and Rap2 downstream of M-Ras in the plasma membrane, whereas RA-GEF-1 exerts Rap GEF function in perinuclear compartments including the Golgi apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42219-42225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 9 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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