MAPK Signaling Pathway

Many cellular processes rely on communicating extracellular signals on plasma membranes to regulatory targets in various intracellular compartments. Sequential activation of Kinases is a common mechanism for such intracellular signaling cascades.

MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) are a group of Serine/threonine protein Kinases that respond to extracellular activation stimuli such as growth factor, stress signal, cytokines and inflammation. They can differentially activate end point targets such as transcription factors, cytoskeletal proteins, other kinases and proteins and influence cellular processes including apoptosis, inflammation, cell growth and differentiation.

There are four major groups/cascades: ERK (Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinases), JNK (c-Jun NH2-terminal Kinases)/SAPK (Stress Activated Protein Kinase), p38, and ERK5. Each MAPK pathway contains a three-tiered kinase cascade (MAPKKK, MAPKK, MAPK) which amplifies and mediates ultrasensitive switch-like responses to extracellular stimuli and regulates each other.

Click gene symbol on the map to view ORF/cDNA clone.

Data source: KEGG, BioCarta