A pivotal role for ERK in the oncogenic behaviour of malignant melanoma?

Int J Cancer. 2003 May 1;104(5):527-32. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10978.


During the process of oncogenic transformation, melanoma cells escape from normal growth-control mechanisms and acquire the ability to invade surrounding tissues and organs. The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway is a major pathway involved in the control of growth signals, cell survival and invasion. Melanomas are known to harbour activating mutations of both Ras and BRAF, suggesting that the downstream effector ERK may be playing a major role in the oncogenic behaviour of these tumours. The past few years have seen a growth in the understanding of the role of ERK and the MAP kinase pathway in melanoma. The aim of the current review is to assess the role of ERK in melanoma behaviour and to determine whether modulation of these kinases could offer new therapeutic opportunities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Survival
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / enzymology*
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf / metabolism


  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases