Biol Chem, Mar 2016

RAS and downstream RAF-MEK and PI3K-AKT signaling in neuronal development, function and dysfunction


Zhong J

 

In postmitotic neurons, the activation of RAS family small GTPases regulates survival, growth and differentiation. Dysregulation of RAS or its major effector pathway, the cascade of RAF-, mitogen-activated and extracellular-signal regulated kinase kinases (MEK), and extracellular-signal regulated kinases (ERK) causes the RASopathies, a group of neurodevelopmental disorders whose pathogenic mechanisms are the subject of intense research. I here summarize the functions of RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling in neurons in vivo, and discuss perspectives for harnessing this pathway to enable novel treatments for nervous system injury, the RASopathies, and possibly other neurological conditions.

 

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