The N-ras proto-oncogene is a member of the Ras gene family. It is mapped on chromosome 1, and it is activated in HL60, a promyelocytic leukemia line. The order of nearby genes is as follows: cen—CD2—NGFB—NRAS—tel.
The mammalian ras gene family consists of the harvey and kirsten ras genes (HRAS and KRAS), an inactive pseudogene of each (c-Hras2 and c-Kras1) and the N-ras gene. They differ significantly only in the C-terminal 40 amino acids. These ras genes have GTP/GDP binding and GTPase activity, and their normal function may be as G-like regulatory proteins involved in the normal control of cell growth.
The N-ras gene specifies two main transcripts of 2Kb and 4.3Kb. The difference between the two transcripts is a simple extension through the termination site of the 2Kb transcript. The N-ras gene consists of seven exons (-I, I, II, III, IV, V, VI). The smaller 2Kb transcript contains the VIa exon, and the larger 4.3Kb transcript contains the VIb exon which is just a longer form of the VIa exon. Both transcripts encode identical proteins as they differ only the 3' untranslated region.
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