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Role of MEKK1 in Cell Survival and Activation of JNK and ERK Pathways Defined by Targeted Gene Disruption

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Science  04 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5395, pp. 1911-1914
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5395.1911

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Abstract

Targeted disruption of the gene encoding MEK kinase 1 (MEKK1), a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase, defined its function in the regulation of MAPK pathways and cell survival. MEKK1−/− embryonic stem cells from mice had lost or altered responses of the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) to microtubule disruption and cold stress but activated JNK normally in response to heat shock, anisomycin, and ultraviolet irradiation. Activation of JNK was lost and that of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) was diminished in response to hyperosmolarity and serum factors in MEKK1−/− cells. Loss of MEKK1 expression resulted in a greater apoptotic response of cells to hyperosmolarity and microtubule disruption. When activated by specific stresses that alter cell shape and the cytoskeleton, MEKK1 signals to protect cells from apoptosis.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: johnsong{at}njc.org

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