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J Biol Chem. 1998 Oct 30;273(44):29218-23.

Activation of the Rap1 GTPase by the B cell antigen receptor.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.


The B cell antigen receptor (BCR) activates Ras, a GTPase that promotes cell proliferation by activating the Raf-1/MEK/ERK signaling module and other signaling enzymes. In its active GTP-bound form, the Rap1 GTPase may act as a negative regulator of Ras-mediated signaling by sequestering Ras effectors (e.g., Raf-1) and preventing their activation. In this report, we show that BCR engagement activates Rap1 and that this is dependent on production of diacylglycerol (DAG) by phospholipase C-gamma. Activation of Rap1 by the BCR was greatly reduced in phospholipase C-gamma-deficient B cells, whereas both a synthetic DAG and phorbol dibutyrate could activate Rap1 in B cells. We had previously shown that C3G, an activator of Rap1, associates with the Crk adaptor proteins in B cells and that BCR engagement causes Crk to bind to the Cas and Cbl docking proteins. However, the DAG-dependent pathway by which the BCR activates Rap1 apparently does not involve Crk signaling complexes since phorbol dibutyrate could activate Rap1 without inducing the formation of these complexes. Thus, the BCR activates Rap1 via a novel DAG-dependent pathway.

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