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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1994 Mar;13(1):105-16.

Signal transduction pathways involving the Raf proto-oncogene.

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Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The raf genes encode for a family of cytoplasmic proteins (A-raf, B-raf and c-raf-1) with associated serine/threonine kinase activities. Raf-1 is an important mediator of signals involving cell growth, transformation and differentiation. It is activated in response to a wide variety of extracellular stimuli such as insulin, nerve growth factor (NGF), platelet derived-growth factor (PDGF), and in response to expression of oncogenes, v-src and v-ras, in a cell-specific manner. Recently, the first physiological substrate for Raf-1 protein kinase was identified. Raf-1 was found to phosphorylate and activate Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase (MEK), an activator of MAP kinase, thus linking the Raf-1 signaling pathway with that of MAP kinase. Cell specific differences in signalling pathways involving Raf-1 and MAP kinase have also been discovered. Accumulating evidence indicates that membrane tyrosine kinases, ras, Raf-1, MEK and MAP kinase are interconnected via a complex network rather than via a linear pathway involving multiple substrates and feedback loops.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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