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Cell Signal. 2013 May;25(5):1156-65. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

RKIP regulates MAP kinase signaling in cells with defective B-Raf activity.

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Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


MAP kinase (MAPK) signaling results from activation of Raf kinases in response to external or internal stimuli. Here, we demonstrate that Raf kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP) regulates the activation of MAPK when B-Raf signaling is defective. We used multiple models including mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and primary keratinocytes from RKIP- or Raf-deficient mice as well as allografts in mice to investigate the mechanism. Loss of B-Raf protein or activity significantly reduces MAPK activation in these cells. We show that RKIP depletion can rescue the compromised ERK activation and promote proliferation, and this rescue occurs through a Raf-1 dependent mechanism. These results provide formal evidence that RKIP is a bona fide regulator of Raf-1. We propose a new model in which RKIP plays a key role in regulating the ability of cells to signal through Raf-1 to ERK in B-Raf compromised cells.

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