The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have been under careful investigation for a long period, and this signaling pathway is one of the most studied. MAPKs regulate cell proliferation, gene expression, differentiation, mitosis, cell survival, and apoptosis. The mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) pathways are a cascade of signaling enzymes starting with the transmission of a signal from a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) located on the cell surface to the nucleus and ending in the regulation of transcription of target genes. Due to its importance in human cancers, MAPK/ERK signaling pathways are attractive targets for cancer drug development. In this chapter, we will present the MAPK signaling pathway and outline the function of the most relevant protein mediators that facilitate signaling. We will also highlight negative regulators of the pathway, drugs designed to block signaling, and ongoing clinical trials.
Cancer Signal transduction Oncogenes MAPK EGF Ras Raf NK ERK p38 MEK ERK RAF
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