Distantly related cousins of MAP kinase: biochemical properties and possible physiological functions

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Dec 20;266(2):291-5. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1999.1705.


MAP kinases have been established to be key regulators of cellular signal transduction systems and are conserved from baker's yeast to human beings. Until now, three major types of mammalian MAP kinases (ERK, p38, and JNK/SAPK) have been reported and extensively studied. Advancement of genomic research as well as homology cloning techniques has revealed that there are several other protein kinase families that are structurally modestly related to those conventional MAP kinases. Indeed, most of them possess the TXY motif characteristic to MAP kinases in their activation loop, and can be regarded as members of the MAP kinase superfamily, yet some of them show closest overall similarity to Cdks. These kinases, all of mammalian origin, include MAK, MRK, MOK, p42KKIALRE, p56KKIAMRE, NLK, DYRK/Mnb, and Prp4. Although most of their physiological roles remain unknown, recent progress starts shedding some light on their functions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / chemistry*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Saccharomyces
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction


  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases