K-Ras Binds Calmodulin-Related Centrin1 with Potential Implications for K-Ras Driven Cancer Cell Stemness

Ganesh babu Manoharan, Christina Laurini, Sara Bottone, Nesrine Ben Fredj, Daniel Kwaku Abankwa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent data suggest that K-Ras4B (hereafter K-Ras) can drive cancer cell stemness via calmodulin (CaM)-dependent, non-canonical Wnt-signalling. Here we examined whether another Ca2+-binding protein, the CaM-related centrin1, binds to K-Ras and could mediate some K-Ras functions that were previously ascribed to CaM. While CaM and centrin1 appear to distinguish between peptides that were derived from their classical targets, they both bind to K-Ras in cells. Cellular BRET- and immunoprecipitation data suggest that CaM engages more with K-Ras than centrin1 and that the interaction with the C-terminal membrane anchor of K-Ras is sufficient for this. Surprisingly, binding of neither K-Ras nor its membrane anchor alone to CaM or centrin1 is sensitive to inhibition of prenylation. In support of an involvement of the G-domain of K-Ras in cellular complexes with these Ca2+-binding proteins, we find that oncogenic K-RasG12V displays increased engagement with both CaM and centrin1. This is abrogated by addition of the D38A effector-site mutation, suggesting that K-RasG12V is held together with CaM or centrin1 in complexes with effectors. When treated with CaM inhibitors, the BRET-interaction of K-RasG12V with centrin1 was also disrupted in the low micromolar range, comparable to that with CaM. While CaM predominates in regulating functional membrane anchorage of K-Ras, it has a very similar co-distribution with centrin1 on mitotic organelles. Given these results, a significant overlap of the CaM- and centrin1-dependent functions of K-Ras is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3087
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • BRET
  • K-Ras
  • calmodulin
  • centrin
  • centrosome
  • mitosis


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