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Pathway Description:

p38 MAPKs (α, β, γ, and δ) are members of the MAPK family that are activated by a variety of environmental stresses and inflammatory cytokines. As with other MAPK cascades, the membrane-proximal component is a MAPKKK, typically a MEKK or a mixed lineage kinase (MLK). The MAPKKK phosphorylates and activates MKK3/6, the p38 MAPK kinases. MKK3/6 can also be activated directly by ASK1, which is stimulated by apoptotic stimuli. p38 MAPK is involved in regulation of HSP27, MAPKAPK-2 (MK2), MAPKAPK-3 (MK3), and several transcription factors including ATF-2, Stat1, the Max/ Myc complex, MEF-2, Elk-1, and indirectly CREB via activation of MSK1.

Selected Reviews:

We would like to thank Prof. John Blenis, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, for contributing to this diagram.

created January 2003

revised October 2012