Stimulus-specific requirements for MAP3 kinases in activating the JNK pathway

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81 Scopus citations


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are activated by numerous ligands typically through a protein kinase cascade minimally composed of the MAPK in series with a MAP2 kinase (MAP2K) and a MAP3K. This arrangement is thought to confer specificity and appropriate kinetic properties on the activation of MAPKs in response to physiological stimuli. Surprisingly, more than a dozen MAP3Ks have been identified that activate the c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) when overexpressed, but there is no clear understanding of which kinases actually mediate JNK activation by ligands. Here, we use double-stranded RNA-mediated interference of gene expression to reveal the explicit participation of discrete MAP3Ks in controlling JNK activity by multiple stimuli. Maximal activation of JNK by lipopolysaccharide requires the MAP3K TAK1. On the other hand, sorbitol requires expression of four MAP3Ks to cause maximal JNK activation. Thus, we demonstrate that specific stimuli use different mechanisms to recruit distinct MAP3Ks to regulate the JNK pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49105-49110
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 20 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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