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      Mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways

      Current Opinion in Cell Biology
      Elsevier BV

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          Opposing effects of ERK and JNK-p38 MAP kinases on apoptosis.

          Apoptosis plays an important role during neuronal development, and defects in apoptosis may underlie various neurodegenerative disorders. To characterize molecular mechanisms that regulate neuronal apoptosis, the contributions to cell death of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase family members, including ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase), JNK (c-JUN NH2-terminal protein kinase), and p38, were examined after withdrawal of nerve growth factor (NGF) from rat PC-12 pheochromocytoma cells. NGF withdrawal led to sustained activation of the JNK and p38 enzymes and inhibition of ERKs. The effects of dominant-interfering or constitutively activated forms of various components of the JNK-p38 and ERK signaling pathways demonstrated that activation of JNK and p38 and concurrent inhibition of ERK are critical for induction of apoptosis in these cells. Therefore, the dynamic balance between growth factor-activated ERK and stress-activated JNK-p38 pathways may be important in determining whether a cell survives or undergoes apoptosis.
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            A brain serine/threonine protein kinase activated by Cdc42 and Rac1.

            A new brain serine/threonine protein kinase may be a target for the p21ras-related proteins Cdc42 and Rac1. The kinase sequence is related to that of the yeast protein STE20, implicated in pheromone-response pathways. The kinase complexes specifically with activated (GTP-bound) p21, inhibiting p21 GTPase activity and leading to kinase autophosphorylation and activation. Autophosphorylated kinase has a decreased affinity for Cdc42/Rac, freeing the p21 for further stimulatory activities or downregulation by GTPase-activating proteins. This bimolecular interaction provides a model for studying p21 regulation of mammalian phosphorylation signalling pathways.
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              Identification of a member of the MAPKKK family as a potential mediator of TGF-beta signal transduction.

              The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a conserved eukaryotic signaling module that converts receptor signals into various outputs. MAPK is activated through phosphorylation by MAPK kinase (MAPKK), which is first activated by MAPKK kinase (MAPKKK). A genetic selection based on a MAPK pathway in yeast was used to identify a mouse protein kinase (TAK1) distinct from other members of the MAPKKK family. TAK1 was shown to participate in regulation of transcription by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). Furthermore, kinase activity of TAK1 was stimulated in response to TGF-beta and bone morphogenetic protein. These results suggest that TAK1 functions as a mediator in the signaling pathway of TGF-beta superfamily members.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1016/S0955-0674(97)80061-0
                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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