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Transformation by raf and myc oncogenes.

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  • 1Laboratory of Viral Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland 21701.


raf oncogenes were shown to act synergistically with myc in transformation. The contribution of myc was identified as that of a "second messenger" in signal transduction of at least some, competence inducing, growth factors. The role of raf appears to be that of a cytosolic ser/thr specific protein kinase which was placed downstream of ras in the signal transduction of serum growth factors by ras and raf antibody microinjection experiments. Because of the inability of raf to abrogate a cells need for myc inducing competence factors, as well as its synergistic effect with myc, raf was placed downstream of ras in the progression pathway of cellular growth control. We speculate that the basis for synergism with myc might be the ability of raf to activate competence factor induced myc protein or a myc induced protein by phosphorylation. The role of raf in lung tumors was examined by the development of a high incidence mouse model system using ethylnitrosourea as carcinogen and butylated hydroxytoluene as promoter. raf proteins of normal size were expressed at high levels, raf protein vaccination was apparently effective in eliminating the promoted phase of tumor induction.

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