Publication — IRIC
How Genetics Has Helped Piece Together the MAPK Signaling Pathway.
Cells respond to changes in their environment, to developmental cues, and to pathogen aggression through the action of a complex network of proteins. These networks can be decomposed into a multitude of signaling pathways that relay signals from the microenvironment to the cellular components involved in eliciting a specific response. Perturbations in these signaling processes are at the root of multiple pathologies, the most notable of these being cancer. The study of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling led to the first description of a mechanism whereby an extracellular signal is transmitted to the nucleus to induce a transcriptional response. Genetic studies conducted in drosophila and nematodes have provided key elements to this puzzle. Here, we briefly discuss the somewhat lesser known contribution of these multicellular organisms to our understanding of what has come to be known as the prototype of signaling pathways. We also discuss the ostensibly much larger network of regulators that has emerged from recent functional genomic investigations of RTK/RAS/ERK signaling.