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Blood. 2004 Apr 1;103(7):2568-70. Epub 2003 Oct 23.

Raf-1 is not required for megakaryocytopoiesis or TPO-induced ERK phosphorylation.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0100, USA.


Thrombopoietin stimulates extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation in megakaryocytes, and the classic mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (Raf/mitogen-induced extracellular kinase [MEK]/ERK) pathway has been implicated directly and indirectly to play a critical role in megakaryocytopoiesis. However, the involvement of specific Raf family members in megakaryocytopoiesis is unknown. raf-1(-/-) mice were therefore used to directly determine the role of Raf-1 in megakaryocytopoiesis. Surprisingly, raf-1(-/-) mice have a modestly higher platelet count than their raf-1(+/+) littermates. Nonetheless, the absence of Raf-1 does not alter thrombopoietin-induced expansion of primary megakaryocyte-lineage cells, the development of apoptotic megakaryocytes in the presence or absence of thrombopoietin, or the development of megakaryocyte DNA ploidy distribution. Moreover, raf-1(-/-) megakaryocytes do not have a compensatory increase in A-Raf or B-Raf expression, and thrombopoietin-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation is similar in raf-1(-/-) and raf-1(+/+) megakaryocytes. These unexpected findings demonstrate that Raf-1 is dispensable for megakaryocytopoiesis, and for thrombopoietin-induced ERK1/2 activation in primary megakaryocyte-lineage cells.

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