The Ras signaling pathway plays a predominant role during development and controls diverse biological process in all eukaryotic cells. It is a member of the large family of GTPases proteins that binds and hydrolyzes GTP. Ras is a lipid-anchored protein on the intracellular membrane compartments, and cycles between inactive GDP-bound and the signaling competent GTP-bound conformation. Studies have demonstrated Ras to be a central regulator in signal transduction pathways responding to diverse extracellular and intracellular stimuli. Much progress has been made towards delineating specific genes involved in the process of pluripotency and differentiation of stem cells. Here, we discuss recent aspects of Ras signaling pathways in mediating stem cell properties.
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