Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) help regulate cell survival and proliferation in response to various types of signals. Stimulation of growth factor receptors, cytokine receptors, and TCRs leads to the recruitment of SOS by the adaptor protein GRB2. SOS signaling results in Ras and Raf activation, which initiate a signaling cascade to turn on MEK1/2. MEK1/2 go on to activate ERK1/2, which will phosphorylate RSK. Both ERK1/2 and RSK translocate to the nucleus to turn on a number of transcription factors like SAP1/2, p53, and Elk1. ERK1/2 can also be involved with EGFR signaling and NF-κB activation. Aberrant ERK1/2 activity has been linked to oncogenesis and chronic inflammatory diseases.
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