We have previously demonstrated an involvement of MEK5 and ERK5 in RafBXB-stimulated focus formation in NIH3T3 cells. We find here that MEK5 and ERK5 cooperate with the RafBXB effectors MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 to induce foci. To further understand MEK5-ERK5-dependent signaling, we examined potential MEK5-ERK5 effectors that might influence focus-forming activity. Consistent with results from our focus-formation assays, constitutively active variants of MEK5 and MEK1 synergize to activate NF-κB, and MEK5 and ERK5 are required for activation of NF-κB by RafBXB. The MEK5-ERK5 pathway is also sufficient to activate both NF-κB and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase. Our results support the hypothesis that NF-κB and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase are involved in MEK5-ERK5-dependent focus formation and may serve as integration points for ERK5 and ERK1/2 signaling.
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