The Raf-1 kinase is the entry point to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK-1/2) signaling pathway, which controls fundamental cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation, and survival. As such, Raf-1 is regulated by complex mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Recent results have shown that release from repression is an important event that facilitates the interaction of Raf-1 with the Ras activator and its substrate, MAPK/ERK-1/2 kinase. A number of distinct activation steps contribute in a combinatorial fashion to regulate and adjust Raf-1 activity. The efficiency of downstream signal transmission is modulated by protein:protein interactions, and new data consolidate an important role for kinase suppressor of ras (KSR) as a scaffolding protein. KSR is a dynamic scaffold whose function and localization is regulated by phosphorylation.