Nerve growth factor-dependent activation of the small GTPase Rin

Michael L. Spencer, Haipeng Shao, H. Michael Tucker, Douglas A. Andres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The Rit and Rin proteins comprise a distinct and evolutionarily conserved subfamily of Ras-related small GTPases. Although we have defined a role for Rit-mediated signal transduction in the regulation of cell proliferation and transformation, the function of Rin remains largely unknown. Because we demonstrate that Rin is developmentally regulated and expressed in adult neurons, we examined its role in neuronal signaling. In this study, we show that stimulation of PC6 cells with either epidermal growth factor or nerve growth factor (NGF) results in rapid activation of Rin. This activation correlates with the onset of Ras activation, and dominant-negative Ras completely inhibits Rin activation induced by NGF. Further examination of Ras-mediated Rin activation suggests that this process is dependent upon neuronally expressed regulatory factors. Expression of mutationally activated H-Ras fails to activate Rin in non-neuronal cells, but results in potent stimulation of Rin-GTP levels in a variety of neuronal cell lines. Furthermore, although constitutively activated Rin does not induce neurite outgrowth on its own, both NGF-induced and oncogenic Ras-induced neurite outgrowth were inhibited by the expression of dominant-negative Rin. Together, these studies indicate that Rin activation is a direct downstream effect of growth factor-dependent signaling in neuronal cells and suggest that Rin may function to transduce signals within the mature nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17605-17615
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 17 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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