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J Biol Chem. 1997 Sep 26;272(39):24113-6.

Oncogenic Ha-Ras-induced signaling activates NF-kappaB transcriptional activity, which is required for cellular transformation.

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  • 1Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7295, USA.


Ras proteins function in stimulating cell proliferation and differentiation through the activation of Raf-dependent and Raf-independent signal transduction pathways and the subsequent activation of specific transcription factors. The transcription factor NF-kappaB has been widely studied as a regulator of genes involved in immune and inflammatory responses. A variety of stimuli activate NF-kappaB through the induced phosphorylation and degradation of the inhibitor IkappaB followed by nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB. We show here that oncogenic forms of Ha-Ras activate NF-kappaB, not through induced nuclear translocation, but rather through the activation of the transcriptional function of the NF-kappaB RelA/p65 subunit. Importantly, RelA/p65 -/- cells are inefficient in the activation of kappaB-dependent gene expression in response to oncogenic Ras expression. Furthermore, IkappaBalpha expression blocks focus formation in NIH3T3 cells induced by oncogenic Ras. These results demonstrate that NF-kappaB is a critical downstream mediator of Ha-Ras signaling and oncogenic potential.

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