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Role of the Kinase MST2 in Suppression of Apoptosis by the Proto-Oncogene Product Raf-1

Science  24 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5705, pp. 2267-2270
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103233

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Abstract

The ablation of the protein kinase Raf-1 renders cells hypersensitive to apoptosis despite normal regulation of extracellular signal–regulated kinases, which suggests that apoptosis protection is mediated by a distinct pathway. We used proteomic analysis of Raf-1 signaling complexes to show that Raf-1 counteracts apoptosis by suppressing the activation of mammalian sterile 20–like kinase (MST2). Raf-1 prevents dimerization and phosphorylation of the activation loop of MST2 independently of its protein kinase activity. Depletion of MST2 from Raf-1–/– mouse or human cells abrogated sensitivity to apoptosis, whereas overexpression of MST2 induced apoptosis. Conversely, depletion of Raf-1 from Raf-1+/+ mouse or human cells led to MST2 activation and apoptosis. The concomitant depletion of both Raf-1 and MST2 prevented apoptosis.

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