Coupling of the RAS-MAPK Pathway to Gene Activation by RSK2, a Growth Factor-Regulated CREB Kinase

Science  16 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5277, pp. 959-963
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5277.959


A signaling pathway has been elucidated whereby growth factors activate the transcription factor cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB), a critical regulator of immediate early gene transcription. Growth factor-stimulated CREB phosphorylation at serine-133 is mediated by the RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. MAPK activates CREB kinase, which in turn phosphorylates and activates CREB. Purification, sequencing, and biochemical characterization of CREB kinase revealed that it is identical to a member of the pp90RSK family, RSK2. RSK2 was shown to mediate growth factor induction of CREB serine-133 phosphorylation both in vitro and in vivo. These findings identify a cellular function for RSK2 and define a mechanism whereby growth factor signals mediated by RAS and MAPK are transmitted to the nucleus to activate gene expression.

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