The Ral guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), RalA and RalB, are members of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases. Research on Ral GTPases and their functions over the past 25 years has revealed the essential involvement of these GTPases in unique and diverse cellular processes including exocyst-mediated exocytosis and related cellular activities. Moreover, it is increasingly appreciated that the aberrant activation of Ral GTPases is one of the major causes of human tumourigenesis induced by oncogenic Ras. Recent evidence suggests that Ral signalling pathways may be potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of human cancers. This review summarizes recent advance in the investigation of Ral GTPases.
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