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Cell. 1993 May 7;73(3):571-83.

Raf-1 kinase is essential for early Xenopus development and mediates the induction of mesoderm by FGF.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Animal cap explants from Xenopus embryos injected with a dominant negative Raf-1 mutant, termed NAF (not a functional Raf), demonstrated a complete block to basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-stimulated mesoderm induction. Activin induction of mesoderm was normal in embryos that expressed NAF. Injection of NAF RNA into 2-cell stage embryos blocked normal development during neurula stages and caused severe posterior truncations in tadpoles. The phenotype induced by NAF could be rescued by coinjection of wild-type raf-1 RNA. The NAF mutant functioned by specifically blocking the activation of endogenous Raf kinase activity. These findings suggest that Raf-1 mediates FGF, but not activin, receptor signaling during mesoderm induction and implicate Raf-1 as a key signaling molecule in the development of posterior structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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