Adaptor protein Nck1 interacts with p120 Ras GTPase-activating protein and regulates its activity.
Adaptor protein Nck1 binds a number of intracellular proteins and influences various signaling pathways. Here we show that Nck1 directly binds and activates the GTPase-activating protein of Ras (RasGAP), which is responsible for the down-regulation of Ras. The first and the third SH3 domains of Nck1 and the NH(2)-terminal proline-rich sequence of RasGAP contribute most to the complex formation causing direct molecular interaction between the two proteins. Cell adhesion to the substrate is obligatory for the Nck1 and RasGAP association, as cell detachment makes RasGAP incapable of associating with Nck1. This leads to the complex dissipation, decrease of RasGAP activity and the increase of H-Ras-GTP level in the detached cells. Our findings reveal unexpected feature of adaptor protein Nck1 as the regulator of RasGAP activity.