The activation of the Ras-related GTPase R-Ras, which has been implicated in the regulation of various cellular functions, by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) was studied in HEK293 cells stably expressing the M-3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor ( mAChR), which can couple to several types of heterotrimeric G proteins. Activation of the receptor induced a very rapid and transient activation of R-Ras. Studies with inhibitors and activators of various signaling pathways indicated that R-Ras activation by the M-3 mAChR is dependent on cyclic AMP formation but is independent of protein kinase A. Similar to the rather promiscuous M-3 mAChR, two typical G(s)-coupled receptors also induced R-Ras activation. The receptor actions were mimicked by an Epac-specific cyclic AMP analog and suppressed by depletion of endogenous Epac1 by small interfering RNAs, as well as expression of a cyclic AMP binding-deficient Epac1 mutant, but not by expression of dominant negative Rap GTPases. In vitro studies demonstrated that Epac1 directly interacts with R-Ras and catalyzes GDP/GTP exchange at this GTPase. Finally, it is shown that the cyclic AMP- and Epac-activated R-Ras plays a major role in the M-3 mAChR-mediated stimulation of phospholipase D but not phospholipase C. Collectively, our data indicate that GPCRs rapidly activate R-Ras, that R-Ras activation by the GPCRs is apparently directly induced by cyclic AMP- regulated Epac proteins, and that activated R-Ras specifically controls GPCR-mediated phospholipase D stimulation.
- NUCLEOTIDE-EXCHANGE FACTOR
- INTEGRIN ACTIVATION