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Mol Immunol. 1996 Feb;33(3):287-96.

Regulation of BCR- and PKC/Ca(2+)-mediated activation of the Raf1/MEK/MAPK pathway by protein-tyrosine kinase and -tyrosine phosphatase activities.

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  • 1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Ligation of the B cell Ag receptor (BCR) activates a protein-tyrosine kinase (PTK) and CD45 protein-tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase)-dependent signaling cascade that results in the activation of Ras. This pathway of Ras activation can operate independently of protein kinase C (PKC) activity. Activation of Ras may lead to two distinct Ras-dependent pathways involving either a Raf1/MEK/MAPK module or a MEKK/SEK/SAPK module; however, it is unclear as to how Ras controls the independent activation of either of these pathways. We have used genistein and phenylarsine oxide (PAO) as inhibitors of PTK and PTPase, respectively, to investigate whether they regulate the BCR- and Ca2+/PKC-dependent activation of the Ras/Raf1/MEK/MAPK module. Assays of phosphotransferase activities conducted with Ag (TNP6-OVA)-specific 7.9 murine B lymphoma cells demonstrated that BCR-mediated stimulation of the Raf1/MEK/MAPK module is controlled by PTK and PTPase activities. An elevation in [Ca2+]i was required to optimally activate Raf1 and MEK through the BCR. However, when signaling through the BCR was bypassed by direct stimulation of the Raf1/MEK/MAPK module via a rise in [Ca2+]i and phorbol ester-induced PKC activation, the phosphotransferase activities of Raf1, MEK and MAPK were still regulated in a PTK-dependent manner that was also partially sensitive to the PTPase inhibitor PAO. Thus, at least two alternate routes, i.e. a BCR/PTK/Ras-dependent route and another PKC/Ca(2+)-dependent route, may converge at the level of Raf1 for activation of the Raf1/MEK/MAPK module in B cells.

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