Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases are a family of serine/threonine kinases that play a key role in transducing chemical and physical extracellular signals into a variety of intracellular responses. These protein kinases are among the most highly studied signaling molecules, as reflected by the more than 97,000 papers on “MAP kinase” listed in PubMed as of August 2016. This chapter provides a broad overview of the different subfamilies of MAP kinases. Each subfamily will then be treated in more detail in individual chapters of this encyclopedia.
The discovery of MAP kinases goes back to 1987 when Ray and Sturgill reported the identification of a novel insulin-stimulated serine/threonine kinase activity from extracts of 3T3-L1 adipocytes that was capable of phosphorylating microtubule-associated protein-2 in vitro (Ray and Sturgill 1987). As a result, the enzyme was called microtubule-associated...
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