Numerous studies exploring oncogenic Ras or manipulating physiological Ras signalling have established an irrefutable role for Ras as driver of cell cycle progression. Despite this wealth of information the precise signalling timeline and effectors engaged by Ras, particularly during G1, remain obscure as approaches for Ras inhibition are slow-acting and ill-suited for charting discrete Ras signalling episodes along the cell cycle. We have developed an approach based on the inducible recruitment of a Ras-GAP that enforces endogenous Ras inhibition within minutes. Applying this strategy to inhibit Ras stepwise in synchronous cell populations revealed that Ras signaling was required well into G1 for Cyclin D induction, pocket protein phosphorylation and S-phase entry, irrespective of whether cells emerged from quiescence or G2/M. Unexpectedly, Erk, and not PI3K/Akt or Ral was activated by Ras at mid-G1, albeit PI3K/Akt signalling was a necessary companion of Ras/Erk for sustaining cyclin-D levels and G1/S transition. Our findings chart mitogenic signaling by endogenous Ras during G1 and identify limited effector engagement restricted to Raf/MEK/Erk as a cogent distinction from oncogenic Ras signalling.
Vasjari, L., Bresan, S., Biskup, C., Pai, G., & Rubio, I. (2019). Ras signals principally via Erk in G1 but cooperates with PI3K/Akt for Cyclin D induction and S-phase entry. Cell Cycle, 18(2), 204-225. https://doi.org/10.1080/15384101.2018.1560205