Ras variant abundance and biology

Ras variant abundance and biology

Professor Ian Prior; University of Liverpool

Activating mutations of Ras genes are often observed in cancer. The protein products of the three Ras genes are almost identical. However, for reasons that remain unclear, KRAS is far more frequently mutated than the other Ras isoforms in cancer and RASopathies. We have quantified HRAS, NRAS, KRAS4A and KRAS4B protein abundance across a large panel of cell lines and healthy tissues. Our data reveal new features of Ras biology and challenge and refine models explaining the pattern of Ras mutations in cancer and isoform-specific Ras contributions to development. New tools that will assist with exploring Ras variant biology will also be discussed.

Following a PhD in Liverpool studying synaptic vesicle recycling, I moved to a postdoctoral position with John Hancock at the University of Queensland in 1999 to investigate Ras isoform localization. Whilst there, I established methods that allowed us to identify and map the nanoclustering of Ras at the plasma membrane. Returning to the UK in 2003 to establish my group with a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, my research group has since continued to work on Ras biology whilst I also enjoying a wide range of collaborations based on my electron microscopy expertise. My leadership roles within the University of Liverpool include Director of LIV-SRF – the oversight structure for 25 university core facilities, and Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Technology, Infrastructure and Environment Directorate.


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