The primary structure of MEK, a protein kinase that phosphorylates the ERK gene product

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Science  16 Oct 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5081, pp. 478-480
DOI: 10.1126/science.1411546


Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, also known as extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), are thought to act at an integration point for multiple biochemical signals because they are activated by a wide variety of extracellular signals, rapidly phosphorylated on threonine and tyrosine, and highly conserved. A critical protein kinase lies upstream of MAP kinase and stimulates the enzymatic activity of MAP kinase. The structure of this protein kinase, denoted MEK1, for MAP kinase or ERK kinase, was elucidated from a complementary DNA sequence and shown to be a protein of 393 amino acids (43,500 daltons) that is related most closely in size and sequence to the product encoded by the Schizosaccharomyces pombe byr1 gene. The MEK gene was highly expressed in murine brain, and the product expressed in bacteria phosphorylated the ERK gene product.

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