A conserved docking motif in MAP kinases common to substrates, activators and regulators

Nat Cell Biol. 2000 Feb;2(2):110-6. doi: 10.1038/35000065.


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are specifically phosphorylated and activated by the MAPK kinases, phosphorylate various targets such as MAPK-activated protein kinases and transcription factors, and are inactivated by specific phosphatases. Recently, docking interactions via the non-catalytic regions of MAPKs have been suggested to be important in regulating these reactions. Here we identify docking sites in MAPKs and in MAPK-interacting enzymes. A docking domain in extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK), a MAPK, serves as a common site for binding to the MAPK kinase MEK1, the MAPK-activated protein kinase MNK1 and the MAPK phosphatase MKP3. Two aspartic acids in this domain are essential for docking, one of which is mutated in the sevenmaker mutant of Drosophila ERK/Rolled. A corresponding domain in the MAPKs p38 and JNK/SAPK also serves as a common docking site for their MEKs, MAPK-activated protein kinases and MKPs. These docking interactions increase the efficiency of the enzymatic reactions. These findings reveal a hitherto unidentified docking motif in MAPKs that is used in common for recognition of their activators, substrates and regulators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Conserved Sequence*
  • Dual Specificity Phosphatase 6
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 1
  • Map2k1 protein, mouse
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Dual Specificity Phosphatase 6
  • Dusp6 protein, mouse
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases