Inhibition of K-Ras4B-plasma membrane association with a membrane microdomain-targeting peptide†
The association of K-Ras4B protein with plasma membrane (PM) is required for its signaling activity. Thus, direct inhibition of K-Ras4B–PM interaction could be a potential anti-Ras therapeutic strategy. However, it remains challenging to modulate such protein–PM interaction. Based on Ras isoform-specific PM microdomain localization patterns, we have developed a potent and isoform-selective peptide inhibitor, Memrasin, for detachment of K-Ras4B from the PM. Memrasin is one of the first direct inhibitors of K-Ras4B–PM interaction, and consists of a membrane ld region-binding sequence derived from the C-terminal region of K-Ras4B and an endosome-escape enhancing motif that can aggregate on membrane. It forms peptide-enriched domains in the ld region, abrogates the tethering of K-Ras4B to the PM and accordingly impairs Ras signaling activity, thereby efficiently decreasing the viability of several human lung cancer cells in a dose-responsive and K-Ras dependent manner. Memrasin provides a useful tool for exploring the biological function of K-Ras4B on or off the PM and a potential starting point for further development into anti-Ras therapeutics.