Figure 1. Overview of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK Pathway and Potential Sites of Therapeutic Intervention with Small Molecule Membrane-Permeable Inhibitors. The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway is regulated by Ras (indicated in green ovals), as well as various upstream growth factor receptors (indicated in purple) and non-receptor kinases. Sites where various small molecule inhibitors suppress this pathway are indicated by red octagons. The downstream transcription factors regulated by this pathway are indicated in purple diamond shaped outlines. The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway also interacts with key proteins involved in protein translation (indicated in green ovals). The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway aids in the assembly of the protein translation complex responsible for the translation of “weak” mRNAs (indicated in a red line folding over on itself) important in the prevention of apoptosis. This drawing depicts a relative common, yet frequently overlooked phenomenon in human cancer, autocrine transformation. GF = growth factor, GFR = growth factor receptor.