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Mitogen stimulation of cytoskeletal changes and c-jun amino-terminal kinases is mediated by Rac small guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. Vav, a guanosine diphosphate (GDP)–guanosine triphosphate (GTP) exchange factor for Rac that stimulates the exchange of bound GDP for GTP, bound to and was directly controlled by substrates and products of phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase. The PI 3-kinase substrate phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate inhibited activation of Vav by the tyrosine kinase Lck, whereas the product phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate enhanced phosphorylation and activation of Vav by Lck. Control of Vav in response to mitogens by the products of PI 3-kinase suggests a mechanism for Ras-dependent activation of Rac.
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