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Biol Cell. 1998 Oct;90(6-7):477-85.

Raf-1 kinase, a potential regulator of intracellular pH in Xenopus oocytes.

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Department of Biology, Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois 60626, USA.


Xenopus laevis oocytes undergo an increase in intracellular pH (pHi) from 7.2 to 7.7 due to the up-regulation of Na+/H+ antiporters in their plasma membrane during oocyte meiotic maturation. Up-regulation of Na+/H+ exchangers (NHE) found in other cell systems appears to be controlled, in some cases, by direct phosphorylation of the exchanger. A number of active protein kinases can be found in maturing Xenopus oocytes. These include, c-mos kinase, Raf-1 kinase, mitogen-activated kinase kinase (MAPKK), MAPK, ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK), and histone H-1 kinase. Our previous study indicated that c-mos kinase, was involved in regulating the increase in oocyte pHi. In the current study, we show that when mRNA coding for a constitutively active form of Raf-1 kinase (delta N-Raf-1) was microinjected into oocytes, the protein product induced an increase in oocyte pHi. On the contrary, the injection of mRNA coding for wild-type Raf-1 (WT-Raf-1) or a kinase-deficient form of Raf-1 (KD-Raf-1) had no effect on the recipient oocyte pHi. 8-Br-cAMP and forskolin blocked the increase in pHi during oocyte meiotic maturation, but had no effect on the Raf-1-induced increase in oocyte pHi. Studies using antisense c-mos oligos demonstrated that Raf-1 was not working via a feedback loop to endogenous c-mos mRNA within the recipient oocytes. Experiments using the selective MAPKK inhibitor, PD 98059, indicated that the Raf-1 effect on oocyte pHi was not mediated by the downstream kinase, MAPKK. Therefore, Raf-1 appears to act independently of c-mos kinase in a pathway, not involving MAPKK, leading to the up-regulation of the Na+/H+ antiporters in Xenopus oocytes.

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