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Oncogene. 2004 Jun 24;23(29):5023-31.

Transformation potency of ErbB heterodimer signaling is determined by B-Raf kinase.

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Bioinformatics Group, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.


Cellular transformation occurs only in cells that express both ErbB1 and ErbB4 receptors, but not in cells expressing only one or the other of these receptors. However, when both receptors are coexpressed and ligand-stimulated, they interact with virtually the same adaptor/effector proteins as when expressed singly. To reveal the underlying regulatory mechanism of the kinase/phosphatase network in ErbB homo- and heterodimer receptor signaling, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt activities were evaluated in the presence of several enzyme inhibitors in ligand-induced cells expressing ErbB1 (E1), ErbB4 (E4), and ErbB1/ErbB4 (E1/4) receptor. The PP2A inhibitor okadaic acid showed receptor-specific inhibitory profiles for ERK and Akt activities. Moreover, B-Raf isolated only from E1/4 cells could induce in vitro phosphorylation for MEK; this B-Raf kinase activity was abolished by pretreatment of the cells with okadaic acid. Our study further showed that the E1/4 cell-specific B-Raf activity was stimulated by PLC gamma and subsequent Rap1 activation. The present study suggests that B-Raf kinase, which was specifically activated in the cells coexpressing ErbB1 and ErbB4 receptors, elevates total ERK activity within the cell and, therefore, can induce cellular transformation.

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