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Nature

Suppression of Raf-1 kinase activity and MAP kinase signalling by RKIP.


PMID 10490027

Abstract

Raf-1 phosphorylates and activates MEK-1, a kinase that activates the extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERK). This kinase cascade controls the proliferation and differentiation of different cell types. Here we describe a Raf-1-interacting protein, isolated using a yeast two-hybrid screen. This protein inhibits the phosphorylation and activation of MEK by Raf-1 and is designated RKIP (Raf kinase inhibitor protein). In vitro, RKIP binds to Raf-1, MEK and ERK, but not to Ras. RKIP co-immunoprecipitates with Raf-1 and MEK from cell lysates and colocalizes with Raf-1 when examined by confocal microscopy. RKIP is not a substrate for Raf-1 or MEK, but competitively disrupts the interaction between these kinases. RKIP overexpression interferes with the activation of MEK and ERK, induction of AP-1-dependent reporter genes and transformation elicited by an oncogenically activated Raf-1 kinase. Downregulation of endogenous RKIP by expression of antisense RNA or antibody microinjection induces the activation of MEK-, ERK- and AP-1-dependent transcription. RKIP represents a new class of protein-kinase-inhibitor protein that regulates the activity of the Raf/MEK/ERK module.

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