Review

Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Pathways Mediated by ERK, JNK, and p38 Protein Kinases

Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1911-1912
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072682

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Abstract

Multicellular organisms have three well-characterized subfamilies of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) that control a vast array of physiological processes. These enzymes are regulated by a characteristic phosphorelay system in which a series of three protein kinases phosphorylate and activate one another. The extracellular signal–regulated kinases (ERKs) function in the control of cell division, and inhibitors of these enzymes are being explored as anticancer agents. The c-Jun amino-terminal kinases (JNKs) are critical regulators of transcription, and JNK inhibitors may be effective in control of rheumatoid arthritis. The p38 MAPKs are activated by inflammatory cytokines and environmental stresses and may contribute to diseases like asthma and autoimmunity.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gary.johnson{at}uchsc.edu

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