The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) cascade regulates a myriad of functions in multicellular organisms. Scaffold proteins provide critical spatial and temporal control over the specificity of signaling. Shoc2 is a scaffold that accelerates activity of the ERK1/2 pathway. Loss of Shoc2 expression in mice results in embryonic lethality, thus highlighting the essential role of Shoc2 in embryogenesis. In agreement, patients carrying mutated Shoc2 suffer from a wide spectrum of developmental deficiencies. Efforts to understand the mechanisms by which Shoc2 controls ERK1/2 activity revealed the intricate machinery that governs the ability of Shoc2 to transduce signals of the ERK1/2 pathway. Understanding the mechanisms by which Shoc2 contributes to a high degree of specificity of ERK1/2 signaling as well as deciphering the biological functions of Shoc2 in development and human disorders are major unresolved questions.

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Published in Communicative & Integrative Biology, v. 9, no. 4, article e1188241, p. 1-7.

© 2016 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

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Support for this work was provided by the National Cancer Institute (R00CA126161 to EG), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R01GM113087 to EG) and the American Cancer Society (RSG-14-172-01-CSM to EG).