Raf kinases: function, regulation and role in human cancer

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Aug;1773(8):1196-212. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2007.05.001. Epub 2007 May 22.


The Ras-Raf-MAPK pathway regulates diverse physiological processes by transmitting signals from membrane based receptors to various nuclear, cytoplasmic and membrane-bound targets, coordinating a large variety of cellular responses. Function of Raf family kinases has been shown to play a role during organism development, cell cycle regulation, cell proliferation and differentiation, cell survival and apoptosis and many other cellular and physiological processes. Aberrations along the Ras-Raf-MAPK pathway play an integral role in various biological processes concerning human health and disease. Overexpression or activation of the pathway components is a common indicator in proliferative diseases such as cancer and contributes to tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. In this review, we focus on the physiological roles of Raf kinases in normal and disease conditions, specifically cancer, and the current thoughts on Raf regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Invertebrates
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Oncogenes
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction
  • raf Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • raf Kinases / chemistry
  • raf Kinases / genetics
  • raf Kinases / physiology*


  • raf Kinases