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Raf activation is regulated by tyrosine 510 phosphorylation in Drosophila.

Xia F., Li J., Hickey G.W., Tsurumi A., Larson K., Guo D., Yan S.J., Silver-Morse L., Li W.X.

The proto-oncoprotein Raf is pivotal for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, and its aberrant activation has been implicated in multiple human cancers. However, the precise molecular mechanism of Raf activation, especially for B-Raf, remains unresolved. By genetic and biochemical studies, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of tyrosine 510 is essential for activation of Drosophila Raf (Draf), which is an ortholog of mammalian B-Raf. Y510 of Draf is phosphorylated by the c-src homolog Src64B. Acidic substitution of Y510 promotes and phenylalanine substitution impairs Draf activation without affecting its enzymatic activity, suggesting that Y510 plays a purely regulatory role. We further show that Y510 regulates Draf activation by affecting the autoinhibitory interaction between the N- and C-terminal fragments of the protein. Finally, we show that Src64B is required for Draf activation in several developmental processes. Together, these results suggest a novel mechanism of Raf activation via Src-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation. Since Y510 is a conserved residue in the kinase domain of all Raf proteins, this mechanism is likely evolutionarily conserved.

PLoS Biol. 6:e128-e128(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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