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Therrien, M., Michaud, N.R., Rubin, G.M., Morrison, D.K. (1996). KSR modulates signal propagation within the MAPK cascade.  Genes Dev. 10(21): 2684--2695.
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Kinase suppressor of Ras (KSR) is a recently identified component of Ras-dependent signaling pathways. In this report, we show that murine KSR1 (mKSR1) cooperates with activated Ras to promote Xenopus oocyte maturation and cellular transformation and provide evidence that this cooperation occurs by accelerating mitogen and extracellular regulated kinase (MEK) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. We also find that mKSR1 associates with Raf-1 at the plasma membrane in a Ras-dependent manner, indicating the presence of a membrane-bound kinase signaling complex. Although mKSR1 is related structurally to Raf-1, our findings reveal striking functional differences between these proteins. In marked contrast to the isolated amino- and carboxy-terminal domains of Raf-1, the KSR amino terminus also cooperates with Ras, whereas the carboxy-terminal kinase domain blocks Ras signaling as well as MEK and MAPK activation. The isolated KSR kinase domain suppressed Xenopus oocyte maturation, cellular transformation, and Drosophila eye development, suggesting that separation of the amino- and carboxy-terminal domains has uncoupled the normal regulation of KSR as a positive effector of Ras signaling. Together, our findings indicate that mKSR1 is an integral component of the MAPK module functioning via a novel mechanism to modulate signal propagation between Raf-1, MEK1, and MAPK.

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    Genes Dev.
    Genes & Development
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