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Molecular Biology

M.V. Milburn, L. Tong, A.M. deVos, A. Brünger, et al., "Molecular switch for signal transduction: structural differences between active and inactive forms of protooncogenic ras proteins," Science, 247:939-45, 1990.

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...

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