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FEBS Lett. 1995 Jan 9;357(3):290-6.

Regulation of the MAP kinase cascade in PC12 cells: B-Raf activates MEK-1 (MAP kinase or ERK kinase) and is inhibited by cAMP.

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INSERM U 145, Faculté de Médecine, Nice, France.


In PC12 cells, cAMP stimulates the MAP kinase pathway by an unknown mechanism. Firstly, we examined the role of calcium ion mobilization and of protein kinase C in cAMP-stimulated MAP kinase activation. We show that cAMP stimulates p44mapk independently of these events. Secondly, we studied the role of B-Raf in this process. We observed that NGF, PMA and cAMP induce the phosphorylation of B-Raf as well as an upward shift in its electrophoretic mobility. We show that B-Raf is activated following NGF and PMA treatment of PC12 cells, and that it can phosphorylate and activate MEK-1. However, cAMP inhibits B-Raf autokinase activity as well as its ability to phosphorylate and activate MEK-1. This inhibition is likely to be due to a direct effect since we found that PKA phosphorylates B-Raf in vitro. Further, we show that B-Raf binds to p21ras, but more important, this binding to p21ras is virtually abolished with B-Raf from PC12 cells treated with CPT-cAMP. Hence, these data indicate that the PKA-mediated phosphorylation of B-Raf hampers its interaction with p21ras, which is responsible for the PKA-mediated decrease in B-Raf activity. Finally, our work suggests that in PC12 cells, cAMP stimulates MAP kinase through the activation of an unidentified MEK kinase and/or the inhibition of a MEK phosphatase.

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