Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 2000 Aug 15;39(32):9901-8.

Recruitment and activation of Raf-1 kinase by nitric oxide-activated Ras.

Author information

Departments of Biochemistry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) and related species serve as cellular messengers in various physiological and pathological processes. The monomeric G protein, Ras, transduces multiple signaling pathways with varying biological responses. We have previously reported that NO triggers Ras activation and recruitment of an effector, phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) and Ras-dependent activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases which include extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERKs), c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAP kinase. In this study, we further defined NO-activated Ras signaling pathways. We have identified Raf-1 as another effector recruited by NO-activated Ras in T lymphocytes. NO activation results in association of Ras and Raf-1 and is biologically significant, as we observe an NO-induced increase in Raf-1 kinase activity. Downstream to Raf-1 kinase lie MAP kinases and their subsequent downstream targets, transcription factors. We found that treatment of T lymphocytes with NO yielded phosphorylation of the transcription factor, Elk-1. This phoshorylation is dependent on NO binding to the cysteine 118 residue of Ras. By further delineating the pathway with pharmacological inhibitors, Elk-1 phosphorylation was also found to be dependent on PI3K and ERK. Moreover, NO triggered an increase in mRNA levels of the proinflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which was ERK dependent. Thus, we have defined an NO-induced signaling pathway in T lymphocytes arising at the membrane where NO-activated Ras recruits Raf-1 and culminating in the nucleus where Elk-1 is phosphorylated and TNF-alpha messenger RNA is induced. This NO-activated Ras-mediated signaling pathway may play a critical role in Elk-1-induced transcriptional activation of T lymphocytes, host defense and inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center