The Deubiquitinating Enzyme USP17 Blocks N-Ras Membrane Trafficking and Activation but Leaves K-Ras Unaffected

Michelle de la Vega, James F. Burrows, Cheryl McFarlane, Ureshnie Govender, Christopher J. Scott, James A. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


The proto-oncogenic Ras isoforms (H, N, and K) have a C-terminal CAAX motif and undergo the same post-translational processing steps, although they traffic to the plasma membrane through different routes. Previously, we have shown that overexpression of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP17 inhibits H-Ras localization to the plasma membrane. Now we report that whereas H-Ras and N-Ras were unable to localize to the plasma membrane in the presence of USP17, K-Ras4b localization was unaffected. EGF stimulation was unable to induce N-Ras membrane localization in USP17-expressing cells. In addition, N-Ras activity and downstream signaling through the MAPK MEK/ERK and PI3K/JNK pathways were blunted. However, we still detected abundant N-Ras localization at the ER and Golgi in USP17-expressing cells. Collectively, our data showed that the deubiquitinating enzyme USP17 blocks EGF-induced N-Ras membrane trafficking and activation, but left K-Ras unaffected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12028-12036
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
Early online date10 Feb 2010
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2010


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