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Mol Reprod Dev. 1995 Dec;42(4):507-14.

Mechanisms regulating Raf-1 activity in signal transduction pathways.

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Molecular Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis Laboratory, NCI-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Maryland 21702-1201, USA.


Raf-1 is a key protein involved in the transmission of developmental and proliferative signals generated by receptor and nonreceptor tyrosine kinases. Biochemical and genetic studies have demonstrated that Raf-1 functions downstream of activated tyrosine kinases and Ras and upstream of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and MAPK kinase (MKK or MEK) in many signaling pathways. A major objective of our laboratory has been to determine how Raf-1 becomes activated in response to signaling events. Using mammalian, baculovirus, and Xenopus systems, we have examined the roles that phosphorylation and protein-protein interactions play in regulating the biological and biochemical activity of Raf-1. Our studies have provided evidence that the activity of Raf-1 can be modulated by both Ras-dependent and Ras-independent pathways. Recently, we reported that Arg89 of Raf-1 is a residue required for the association of Raf-1 and Ras. Mutation of this residue disrupted interaction with Ras and prevented Ras-mediated, but not protein kinase C-or tyrosine kinase-mediated, enzymatic activation of Raf-1 in the baculovirus expression system. Further analysis of this mutant demonstrated that kinase-defective Raf-1 proteins interfere with the propagation of proliferative and developmental signals by binding to Ras and blocking Ras function. Our findings have also shown that phosphorylation events play a role in regulating Raf-1. We have identified sites of in vivo phosphorylation that positively and negatively alter the biological and enzymatic activity of Raf-1. In addition, we have found that some of these phosphorylation sites are involved in mediating the interaction of Raf-1 with potential activators (Fyn and Src) and with other cellular proteins (14-3-3). Results from our work suggest that Raf-1 is regulated at multiple levels by several distinct mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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