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Blood. 2005 Aug 1;106(3):833-40. Epub 2005 Mar 22.

A critical function for B-Raf at multiple stages of myelopoiesis.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Ave, Room S-577, San Francisco, CA 94143-0100, USA.

Erratum in

  • Blood. 2005 Oct 1;106(7):2243.


Raf kinases play an integral role in the classic mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (Raf/MEK/extracellular signal-related kinase [ERK]) intracellular signaling cascade, but their role in specific developmental processes is largely unknown. Using a genetic approach, we have identified a role for B-Raf during hematopoietic progenitor cell development and during megakaryocytopoiesis. Fetal liver and in vitro embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived myeloid progenitor development is quantitatively impaired in the absence of B-Raf. Biochemical data suggest that this phenotype is due to the loss of a normally occurring rise in B-Raf expression and associated ERK1/2 activation during hematopoietic progenitor cell formation. However, the presence of B-raf-/- ES cell-derived myeloid progenitors in the bone marrow of adult chimeric mice indicates the lack of an obligate cell-autonomous requirement for B-Raf in myeloid progenitor development. The lack of B-Raf also impairs megakaryocytopoiesis. Thrombopoietin (Tpo)-induced in vitro expansion of ES cell-derived megakaryocyte-lineage cells fails to occur in the absence of B-Raf. Moreover, this quantitative in vitro defect in megakaryocyte-lineage expansion is mirrored by chimeric mice data that show reduced B-raf-/- genotype contribution in megakaryocytes relative to its contribution in myeloid progenitors. Together, these data suggest that B-Raf plays a cell-autonomous role in megakaryocytopoiesis and a permissive role in myeloid progenitor development.

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