RCC1 (the regulator of chromosome condensation) stimulates guanine nucleotide dissociation on the Ras-related nuclear protein Ran. Both polypeptides are components of a regulatory pathway that has been implicated in regulating DNA replication, onset of and exit from mitosis, mRNA processing and transport, and import of proteins into the nucleus. In a search for further members of the RCC1-Ran signal pathway, we have identified proteins of 23, 45 and 300 kDa which tightly bind to Ran-GTP but not Ran-GDP. The purified soluble 23 kDa Ran binding protein RanBP1 does not activate RanGTPase, but increases GTP hydrolysis induced by the RanGTPase-activating protein RanGAP1 by an order of magnitude. In the absence of RanGAP, it strongly inhibits RCC1-induced exchange of Ran-bound GTP. In addition, it forms a stable complex with nucleotide-free RCC1-Ran. With these properties, it differs markedly from guanine diphosphate dissociation inhibitors which preferentially prevent the exchange of protein-bound GDP and in some cases were shown to inhibit GAP-induced GTP hydrolysis. RanBP1 is the first member of a new class of proteins regulating the binding and hydrolysis of GTP by Ras-related proteins.
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