Thyroid-stimulating hormone stimulates proliferation through both the cAMP-dependent protein kinase and Ras but not through Raf-1 and mitogen- activated and extracellular signal-related kinase kinase. We now report that thyroid-stimulating hormone represses mitogen-activated protein kinase activity and that microinjection of an effector domain mutant Ha-Ras protein, Ras(12V,37G), defective in Raf-1 binding and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, stimulates DNA synthesis in quiescent and thyroid-stimulating hormone-treated thyrocytes. A yeast two-hybrid screen identified RalGDS as a Ras(12V,37G) binding protein and therefore a potential effector of Ras in these cells. Associations between Ras and RalGDS were observed in extracts prepared from thyroid cells. Microinjection of a mutant RalA(28N) protein thought to sequester RalGDS family members reduced DNA synthesis stimulated by Ras as well as cAMP-mediated DNA synthesis in two cell lines which respond to cAMP with mitogenesis. These results support the idea that RalGDS may be an effector of Ras in cAMP-mediated growth stimulation.
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