2016 Volume 13 Pages 1-11
Son of sevenless (SOS) is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor that regulates cell behavior by activating the small GTPase RAS. Recent in vitro studies have suggested that an interaction between SOS and the GTP-bound active form of RAS generates a positive feedback loop that propagates RAS activation. However, it remains unclear how the multiple domains of SOS contribute to the regulation of the feedback loop in living cells. Here, we observed single molecules of SOS in living cells to analyze the kinetics and dynamics of SOS behavior. The results indicate that the histone fold and Grb2-binding domains of SOS concertedly produce an intermediate state of SOS on the cell surface. The fraction of the intermediated state was reduced in positive feedback mutants, suggesting that the feedback loop functions during the intermediate state. Translocation of RAF, recognizing the active form of RAS, to the cell surface was almost abolished in the positive feedback mutants. Thus, the concerted functions of multiple membrane-associating domains of SOS governed the positive feedback loop, which is crucial for cell fate decision regulated by RAS.