Evidence for the Ras-Independent Signaling Pathway Regulating Insulin-Induced DNA Synthesis

  • Jhun, Byung-H. (Department of Phannacy, College of Phannacy, and Research Institute of Genetic Engineering, Pusan National University)
  • Received : 1998.10.13
  • Accepted : 1998.12.23
  • Published : 1999.03.31


The existence of the Ras-independent signal transduction pathway of insulin leading to DNA synthesis was investigated in Rat-1 fibroblasts overexpressing human insulin receptor (HIRc-B) using the single-cell microinjection technique. Microinjection of a dominant-negative mutant $Ras^{N17}$ protein into quiescent HIRc-B cells inhibited the DNA synthesis stimulated by insulin. Microinjection of oncogenic H-$Ras^{V12}$ protein ($H-Ras^{V12}$) (0.1 mg/ml) induced DNA synthesis by 35%, whereas that of control-injected IgG was induced by 20%. When the marginal amount of oncogenic H-$Ras^{V12}$ protein was coinjected with a dominant-negative mutant of the H-Ras protein ($Ras^{N17}$), DNA synthesis was 35% and 74% in the absence and presence of insulin, respectively. This full recovery of DNA synthesis by insulin suggests the existence of the Ras-independent pathway. The same recovery was observed in the cells coinjected with either H-$Ras^{V12}$ plus H-$Ras^{N17}$ plus SH2 domain of the p85 subunit of PI3-kinase ($p85^{SH2-N}$) or H-$Ras^{V12}$ plus H-$Ras^{N17}$ plus interfering anti-Shc antibody. When co-injected with a dominant-negative H-$Ras^{N17}$, the DNA synthesis induced by the Ras-independent pathway was blocked. These results indicate that the Ras-independent pathway of insulin leading to DNA synthesis exists, bypassing the p85 of PI3-kinase and Shc protein, and requires Rac1 protein.


DNA synthesis;Insulin;Microinjection;Ras;Signal transduction