Regulation of cell cycle progression and apoptosis by the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway (Review)

Int J Oncol. 2003 Mar;22(3):469-80.


The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signal transduction pathway regulates cell cycle progression and apoptosis in diverse types of cells. Mutations in this pathway are often observed in transformed cell lines and frequently linked with human cancers. The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway can induce events both associated with cell proliferation and cell cycle arrest. The particular course chosen may depend on the strength and the particular Raf gene activated by Ras. This pathway also is involved in maintaining cell survival by modulating the activity of apoptotic molecules including Bad and Bcl-2. This review will discuss the regulation of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway and how it modulates cell cycle progression and cell survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Eukaryotic Cells / cytology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf / physiology*
  • ras Proteins / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • ras Proteins