Cancer mutations and targeted drugs can disrupt dynamic signal encoding by the Ras-Erk pathway


Signaling pathways, such as the Ras-Erk pathway, encode information through both their amplitude and dynamics. Differences in signal duration and frequency can lead to distinct cellular output decisions. Thus, temporal signals must be faithfully transmitted from the plasma membrane (Ras) to the nucleus (Erk) to properly control the cell’s response. Because the Ras-Erk pathway regulates important cell decisions such as proliferation, changes to dynamic signal transduction properties could result in improper cell decisions and dysfunction. However, it has been difficult to examine whether corruption of signal transmission dynamics is associated with diseases such as cancer.

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Last updated on 09/03/2018