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J Biol Chem. 1998 Jan 9;273(2):822-8.

Radicicol leads to selective depletion of Raf kinase and disrupts K-Ras-activated aberrant signaling pathway.

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  • 1Tokyo Research Laboratories, Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. Ltd., Asahi-machi 3-6-6, Machida-shi, Tokyo 194, Japan.


Activation of Ras leads to the constitutive activation of a downstream phosphorylation cascade comprised of Raf-1, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase, and MAPK. We have developed a yeast-based assay in which the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating pheromone-induced MAPK pathway relied on co-expression of K-Ras and Raf-1. Radicicol, an antifungal antibiotic, was found to inhibit the K-ras signaling pathway reconstituted in yeast. In K-ras-transformed, rat epithelial, and K-ras-activated, human pancreatic carcinoma cell lines, radicicol inhibited K-Ras-induced hyperphosphorylation of Erk2. In addition, the level of Raf kinase was significantly decreased in radicicol-treated cells, whereas the levels of K-Ras and MAPK remained unchanged. These results suggest that radicicol disrupts the K-Ras-activated signaling pathway by selectively depleting Raf kinase and raises the possibility that pharmacological destabilization of Raf kinase could be a new and powerful approach for the treatment of K-ras-activated human cancers.

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