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CST signaling pathway diagrams allow you to click on individual nodes to find research resources or product information. You can also download the pathway diagrams for educational and research purposes.

Overview of MAP Kinase Signaling

MAP Kinase Signaling Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are a highly conserved family of serine/threonine protein kinases involved in a variety of fundamental cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, motility, stress response, apoptosis, and survival. Conventional MAPKs include the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (Erk1/2 or p44/42), the c-Jun N-terminal kinases 1-3 (JNK1-3)/ stress activated protein kinases (SAPK1A, 1B, 1C), the p38 isoforms (p38α, β, γ, and δ), and Erk5. The lesser-studied, atypical MAPKs include Nemo-like kinase (NLK), Erk3/4, and Erk7/8. Signaling via the conventional MAPKs follows a classical three-tiered kinase cascade: MAPKKK→ MAPKK→MAPK. A broad range of extracellular stimuli including mitogens, cytokines, growth factors, and cellular stressors, such as heat shock and UV irradiation stimulate the small GTPases of the Ras/Rho family, leading to activation of a MAPKK kinase (MAPKKK). MAPKKK phosphorylates and activates a downstream MAPK kinase (MAPKK), which in turn phosphorylates and activates a MAPK. Activation of MAPKs leads to the phosphorylation and activation of specific MAPK-activated protein kinases (MAPKAPKs), such as members of the RSK, MSK, or MNK family, and MK2/3/5. These MAPKAPKs function to amplify the signal and mediate the broad range of biological processes regulated by the different MAPKs.


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