"RAF" neighborhood: protein-protein interaction in the Raf/Mek/Erk pathway

FEBS Lett. 2014 Aug 1;588(15):2398-406. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.06.025. Epub 2014 Jun 14.


The Raf/Mek/Erk signaling pathway, activated downstream of Ras primarily to promote proliferation, represents the best studied of the evolutionary conserved MAPK cascades. The investigation of the pathway has continued unabated since its discovery roughly 30 years ago. In the last decade, however, the identification of unexpected in vivo functions of pathway components, as well as the discovery of Raf mutations in human cancer, the ensuing quest for inhibitors, and the efforts to understand their mechanism of action, have boosted interest tremendously. From this large body of work, protein-protein interaction has emerged as a recurrent, crucial theme. This review focuses on the role of protein complexes in the regulation of the Raf/Mek/Erk pathway and in its cross-talk with other signaling cascades. Mapping these interactions and finding a way of exploiting them for therapeutic purposes is one of the challenges of future molecule-targeted therapy.

Keywords: Cancer therapy; Erk; Kinase inhibitor; Mek; Protein–protein interaction; Raf; Ras.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • raf Kinases / metabolism*


  • raf Kinases
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases