Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.123, No.6, 1023-1035, 2001
Synthesis of functional Ras lipoproteins and fluorescent derivatives
For the study of biological signal transduction, access to correctly lipidated proteins is of utmost importance. Furthermore, access to bioconjugates that embody the correct structure of the protein but that may additionally carry different lipid groups or labels (i.e., fluorescent tags) by which the protein can be traced in biological systems, could provide invaluable reagents. We report here of the development of techniques for the synthesis of a series of modified Ras proteins. These modified Ras proteins carry a number of different, natural and non-natural lipid residues, and the process was extended to also provide access to a number of fluorescently labeled derivatives. The maleimide group provided the key to link chemically synthesized lipopeptide molecules in a specific and efficient manner to a truncated form of the H-Ras protein. Furthermore, a preliminary study on the biological activity of the natural Rns protein derivative (containing the normal farnesyl and palmitoyl lipid residues) has shown full biological activity. This result highlights the usefulness of these compounds as invaluable tools for the study of Ras signal transduction processes and the plasma membrane localization of the Ras proteins.