Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Jul;16(7):673-84. doi: 10.1038/ncb2986. Epub 2014 Jun 15.

Protein interaction switches coordinate Raf-1 and MST2/Hippo signalling.

Author information

Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland.
1] Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland [2] Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland [3] School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland [4].


Signal transduction requires the coordination of activities between different pathways. In mammalian cells, Raf-1 regulates the MST-LATS and MEK-ERK pathways. We found that a complex circuitry of competing protein interactions coordinates the crosstalk between the ERK and MST pathways. Combining mathematical modelling and experimental validation we show that competing protein interactions can cause steep signalling switches through phosphorylation-induced changes in binding affinities. These include Akt phosphorylation of MST2 and a feedback phosphorylation of Raf-1 Ser 259 by LATS1, which enables Raf-1 to suppress both MST2 and MEK signalling. Mutation of Raf-1 Ser 259 stimulates both pathways, simultaneously driving apoptosis and proliferation, whereas concomitant MST2 downregulation switches signalling to cell proliferation, transformation and survival. Thus, competing protein interactions provide a versatile regulatory mechanism for signal distribution through the dynamic integration of graded signals into switch-like responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center