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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Endothelial apoptosis in Braf-deficient mice.

Tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors and Ras/ Raf/MEK/MAPK signalling have been implicated in the suppression as well as augmentation of programmed cell death. In addition, a Ras-independent role for Raf as a suppressor of programmed cell death has been suggested by the recent finding that Craf1 interacts with members of the Bcl-2 family at mitochondrial membranes. However, genetic studies of C. elegans and Drosophila, as well as the targeted mutagenesis of the murine Araf gene, have failed to support such a role. Here we show that mice with a targeted disruption in the Braf gene die of vascular defects during mid-gestation. Braf -/- embryos, unlike Araf -/- or Craf1 -/- embryos (L.W. et al., unpublished), show an increased number of endothelial precursor cells, dramatically enlarged blood vessels and apoptotic death of differentiated endothelial cells. These results establish Braf as a critical signalling factor in the formation of the vascular system and provide the first genetic evidence for an essential role of Raf gene in the regulation of programmed cell death.[1]


  1. Endothelial apoptosis in Braf-deficient mice. Wojnowski, L., Zimmer, A.M., Beck, T.W., Hahn, H., Bernal, R., Rapp, U.R., Zimmer, A. Nat. Genet. (1997) [Pubmed]
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