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Oncogene. 1995 Aug 3;11(3):427-38.

Reconstitution of signal transduction from the membrane to the nucleus in a baculovirus expression system: activation of Raf-1 leads to hypermodification of c-jun and c-fos via multiple pathways.

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  • 1Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts 02115, USA.


We have attempted to dissect signaling pathways involved in transmitting activating signals from the cell surface to the nucleus by reconstituting them in the baculovirus/Sf9 cell system. We have used this system to coexpress different combinations of the critical signaling proteins pp60v-src, p21v-ras, Raf-1 and ERK-1 and assayed the effects of resulting signaling cascades on the modifications of coexpressed transcription factors c-jun or c-fos. We observe that activation of ERK-1 via Raf-1 and p21ras dependent signals can result in the hyperphosphorylation of c-jun. In contrast, c-fos appears to be the target of two Raf-1 activated modifying signals: one independent of ERK-1 and the other dependent on ERK-1 stimulation. Thus, coexpression of c-fos with pp60v-src, p21v-ras or constitutively active forms of Raf-1 results in a dramatic reduction of its electrophoretic mobility in the absence of coexpressed ERK-1. Activation of this ERK-1-independent pathway together with the ERK-1 dependent pathway that modifies c-jun results in additional modification of c-fos. Our observation of a Raf-1 activated, ERK-independent signaling pathway is consistent with previous reports that constitutively active Raf-1 can, in some cell types, result in transformation or differentiation without activation of ERKs. Our data indicate the presence of multiple Raf-1 activated pathways that lead to modification of transcription factors.

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