In the developing eye of Drosophila the protein kinase D-Raf controls the specification of the R7 photoreceptor cells. We show that overexpression of wild-type D-Raf inhibits the formation of R7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Conversely, overexpression of mutant D-Raf proteins in which the conserved S388 is replaced by A or by D promotes the formation of supernumerary R7 cells, indicating increased D-Raf activity in vivo. S388 in D-Raf corresponds to S259 in c-Raf; shown to be involved in binding of 14-3-3. We show that analogous substitutions of S259 in c-Raf prevent binding of 14-3-3 zeta to the amino terminus of c-Raf and cause a Ras-independent constitutively increased c-Raf kinase activity. Binding of 14-3-3 zeta to the second binding site at the carboxy terminal catalytic domain was unaffected by these mutations. These results suggest that the increased kinase activity of mutant D-Raf is caused by the selective loss of 14-3-3 binding to its amino terminus. Therefore, binding of 14-3-3 to the amino terminus of Raf appears to negatively regulate Raf kinase activity in vivo.