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J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov 21;278(47):47089-97. Epub 2003 Sep 15.

Identification of a novel human kinase supporter of Ras (hKSR-2) that functions as a negative regulator of Cot (Tpl2) signaling.

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  • 1Department of Inflammation, Wyeth Research, 200 Cambridge Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140, USA.


Kinase suppressor of Ras (KSR) is an integral and conserved component of the Ras signaling pathway. Although KSR is a positive regulator of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway, the role of KSR in Cot-mediated MAPK activation has not been identified. The serine/threonine kinase Cot (also known as Tpl2) is a member of the MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) family that is known to regulate oncogenic and inflammatory pathways; however, the mechanism(s) of its regulation are not precisely known. In this report, we identify an 830-amino acid novel human KSR, designated hKSR-2, using predictions from genomic data base mining based on the structural profile of the KSR kinase domain. We show that, similar to the known human KSR, hKSR-2 co-immunoprecipitates with many signaling components of the Ras/MAPK pathway, including Ras, Raf, MEK-1, and ERK-1/2. In addition, we demonstrate that hKSR-2 co-immunoprecipitates with Cot and that co-expression of hKSR-2 with Cot significantly reduces Cot-mediated MAPK and NF-kappaB activation. This inhibition is specific to Cot, because Ras-induced ERK and IkappaB kinase-induced NF-kappaB activation are not significantly affected by hKSR-2 co-expression. Moreover, Cot-induced interleukin-8 production in HeLa cells is almost completely inhibited by the concurrent expression of hKSR-2, whereas transforming growth factor beta-activated kinase 1 (TAK1)/TAK1-binding protein 1 (TAB1)-induced interleukin-8 production is not affected by hKSR-2 co-expression. Taken together, these results indicate that hKSR-2, a new member of the KSR family, negatively regulates Cot-mediated MAP kinase and NF-kappaB pathway signaling.

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