Coordinating ERK signaling via the molecular scaffold Kinase Suppressor of Ras

Robert Lewis, Danielle Frodyma, Beth Neilsen, Diane Costanzo-Garvey, Kurt Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Many cancers, including those of the colon, lung, and pancreas, depend upon the signaling pathways induced by mutated and constitutively active Ras. The molecular scaffolds Kinase Suppressor of Ras 1 and 2 (KSR1 and KSR2) play potent roles in promoting Ras-mediated signaling through the Raf/MEK/ERK kinase cascade. Here we summarize the canonical role of KSR in cells, including its central role as a scaffold protein for the Raf/MEK/ERK kinase cascade, its regulation of various cellular pathways mediated through different binding partners, and the phenotypic consequences of KSR1 or KSR2 genetic inactivation. Mammalian KSR proteins have a demonstrated role in cellular and organismal energy balance with implications for cancer and obesity. Targeting KSR1 in cancer using small molecule inhibitors has potential for therapy with reduced toxicity to the patient. RNAi and small molecule screens using KSR1 as a reference standard have the potential to expose and target vulnerabilities in cancer. Interestingly, although KSR1 and KSR2 are similar in structure, KSR2 has a distinct physiological role in regulating energy balance. Although KSR proteins have been studied for two decades, additional analysis is required to elucidate both the regulation of these molecular scaffolds and their potent effect on the spatial and temporal control of ERK activation in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1621
StatePublished - 2017


  • ERK Signalling
  • KSR
  • Kinase Suppressor of Ras

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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