Kinetic determination of the GTPase activity of Ras proteins by means of a luminescent terbium complex.
ABSTRACT Guanine nucleotide binding proteins, such as Ras proteins, play a pivotal role in maintaining the regular life cycle of cells. The involvement of Ras mutants in the progress of cancer has attracted many efforts to find detection methods for Ras activity. In this study we present a luminescent microwell plate assay for monitoring GTPase activity of Ras proteins. The luminescence intensity of the Tb-norfloxacin complex is influenced by nucleoside phosphates as well as by inorganic phosphates. Real-time kinetics of the GTPase activity of wild-type Ras and Ras mutants can be monitored online. The effect of a GTPase activating protein as well as of a downstream effector (Ras-binding domain of human Raf-1) on the GTPase activity of different Ras mutants is examined. In contrast to other methods, this assay does not require the use of radioactively labeled substrates or chromatographic separation steps. Moreover, the application of fluorescently labeled GTP substrates which often interfere with enzymatic activity can be avoided. This in vitro assay can serve as a model system for the screening of regulators affecting the GTPase activity of Ras proteins.