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J Biol Chem. 2000 Dec 1;275(48):37303-6.

Uncoupling Raf1 from MEK1/2 impairs only a subset of cellular responses to Raf activation.

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  • 1Departments of Cell Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.

Abstract

The Raf family of serine/threonine protein kinases is intimately involved in the transmission of cell regulatory signals controlling proliferation and differentiation. The best characterized Raf substrates are MEK1 and MEK2. The activation of MEK1/2 by Raf is required to mediate many of the cellular responses to Raf activation, suggesting that MEK1/2 are the dominant Raf effector proteins. However, accumulating evidence suggests that there are additional Raf substrates and that subsets of Raf-induced regulatory events are mediated independently of Raf activation of MEK1/2. To examine the possibility that there is bifurcation at the level of Raf in activation of MEK1/2-dependent and MEK1/2-independent cell regulatory events, we engineered a kinase-active Raf1 variant (RafBXB(T481A)) with an amino acid substitution that disrupts MEK1 binding. We find that disruption of MEK1/2 association uncouples Raf from activation of ERK1/2, induction of serum-response element-dependent gene expression, and induction of growth and morphological transformation. However, activation of NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression and induction of neurite differentiation were unimpaired. In addition, Raf-dependent activation of p90 ribosomal S6 kinase was only slightly impaired. These results support the hypothesis that Raf kinases utilize multiple downstream effectors to regulate distinct cellular activities.

PMID:
11018021
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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