Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0461-4_641


 Gsp1;  Spi1;  TC4

Historical Background

Ran is an abundant member of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases that is highly conserved across eukaryotes. Originally cloned from a human teratocarcinoma cell line as one of four novel genes with sequence homology to the GTP-binding domain of Ras (Drivas et al. 1990), the gene was initially named TC4 (teratocarcinoma clone 4) and found to encode a protein of 216 amino acid residues. TC4 was markedly different from other members of the Ras superfamily in two respects: it lacked the sites required for post-translational lipid modification and it was primarily localized to the nucleus. Accordingly, it was renamed Ran for Ras-related nuclear protein. Ran was subsequently purified as an essential cofactor for nuclear protein import (Moore and Blobel 1993) and over the following years was extensively characterized for its role in regulating nucleocytoplasmic transport. Ran was later discovered to be critical for mitotic spindle assembly...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Biologie Structurale Jean-Pierre EbelUMR 5075 (CEA/CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier)GrenobleFrance