SOS phosphorylation and disassociation of the Grb2-SOS complex by the ERK and JNK signaling pathways

Dong Chen, Steven B. Waters, Kathleen H. Holt, Jeffrey E. Pessin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Insulin activation of Ras is mediated by the plasma membrane targeting of the guanylnucleotide exchange factor SOS associated with the small adapter protein Grb2. SOS also lies in an insulin-stimulated feedback pathway in which the serine/threonine phosphorylation of SOS results in disassociation of the Grb2-SOS complex thereby limiting the extent of Ras activation. To examine the relative role of the mitogen-activated protein kinases in the feedback phosphorylation of SOS we determined the signaling specificity of insulin, osmotic shock, and anisomycin to activate the ERK (extracellular- signal regulated kinase) and JNK (c-Jun kinase) pathways. In Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the human insulin receptor and murine 3T3L1 adipocytes, insulin specifically activated ERK with no significant effect on JNK, whereas anisomycin specifically activated JNK but was unable to activate ERK. In contrast, osmotic shock was equally effective in the activation of both kinase pathways. Insulin and osmotic shock, but not anisomycin, resulted in SOS phosphorylation and disassociation of the Grb2-SOS complex, demonstrating that the JNK pathway was not involved in the insulin-stimulated feedback uncoupling of the Grb2-SOS complex. Both the insulin and osmotic shock-induced activation of ERK was prevented by treatment of cells with the specific MEK inhibitor (PD98059). However, expression of dominant-interfering Ras (N17Ras) inhibited the insulin- but not osmotic shock-stimulated phosphorylation of ERK and SOS. These data demonstrate that activation of the ERK pathway, but not JNK, is responsible for the feedback phosphorylation and disassociation of the Grb2-SOS complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6328-6332
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 15 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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