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Curr Biol. 1996 May 1;6(5):614-7.

Post-natal lethality and neurological and gastrointestinal defects in mice with targeted disruption of the A-Raf protein kinase gene.

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Department of Cell Signaling, DNAX Research Institute, 901 California Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.


The Ras/Raf/MEK/MAP kinase cascade transmits signals from activated cell-surface receptors to transcription factors in the nucleus and is an essential component of metazoan intracellular signaling pathways (see, for example, [1-6]). In the mouse, the Raf protein kinase family is comprised of three homologous genes, Raf-1, A-Raf and B-Raf [5] which are ubiquitously expressed in the developing embryo [7]. We have introduced into the mouse germ line a loss-of-function mutation in the X-chromosomal A-Raf gene, by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. On a predominantly C57 Bl/6 genetic background, A-Raf-deficient mice displayed neurological and intestinal abnormalities and died between 7 and 21 days post-partum. When the mutated allele was maintained on a predominantly 129/OLA background, by contrast, A-Raf-deficient animals survived to adulthood, did not display obvious intestinal abnormalities, were fertile, but did have a subset of the neurological defects.

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