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Sung-Hou Kim (University of California and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley): "This paper provides three-dimensional structural information essential for (1) understanding the molecular switching mechanism for signal transduction in Ras and G proteins and (2) designing modulators of the biological functions of ras, a common oncogene in human tumors.
"Extracellular signals are transduced through cell membranes and trigger a cascade of chemical reactions inside the cell, resulting in responses such as cell growth and differentiation. G proteins often play the role of initial molecular switch in this cascade. The switch is `on' when guanosine triphosphate (GTP) is bound to the G proteins, and `off' when guanosine diphosphate (GDP) is bound. Ras protein is one of the simplest...