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Oncogene. 2006 Oct 12;25(47):6262-76. Epub 2006 May 15.

Functional analysis of the regulatory requirements of B-Raf and the B-Raf(V600E) oncoprotein.

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Cancer Research Program, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The BRAF(V600E) mutation is found in approximately 6% of human cancers and mimics the phosphorylation of the kinase domain activation segment. In wild-type B-Raf (B-Raf(wt)), activation segment phosphorylation is thought to cooperate with negative charges within the N-region for full activation. In contrast to Raf-1, the N-region of B-Raf is constitutively negatively charged owing to the presence of residues D447/D448 and the phosphorylation of S446. Therefore, it has been suggested that this hallmark predisposes B-Raf for oncogenic activation. In this study, we demonstrate that neutralizing mutations of these residues (in particular S446 and S447), or uncoupling of B-Raf from Ras-guanine 5'-triphosphate (GTP), strongly reduce the biological activity of B-Raf in a PC12 cell differentiation assay. We also confirm that S365 is a 14-3-3 binding site, and determine that mutation of this residue rescues the impaired biological activity of B-Raf proteins with a neutralized N-region, suggesting that the N-region opposes a 14-3-3-mediated transition into an inactive conformation. However, in the case of B-Raf(V600E), although complete N-region neutralization resulted in a 2.5-fold reduction in kinase activity in vitro, this oncoprotein strongly induced PC12 differentiation or transformation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of MCF-10A cells regardless of its N-region charge. Furthermore, the biological activity of B-Raf(V600E) was independent of its ability to bind Ras-GTP. Our analysis identifies important regulatory differences between B-Raf(wt) and B-Raf(V600E) and suggests that B-Raf(V600E) cannot be inhibited by strategies aimed at blocking S446 phosphorylation or Ras activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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