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

Yeung K., Seitz T., Li S., Janosch P., McFerran B., Kaiser C., Fee F., Katsanakis K.D., Rose D.W., Mischak H., Sedivy J.M., Kolch W.

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.

Nature 401:173-177(1999) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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