The p38 signal transduction pathway: activation and function

Cell Signal. 2000 Jan;12(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/s0898-6568(99)00071-6.


The p38 signalling transduction pathway, a Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway, plays an essential role in regulating many cellular processes including inflammation, cell differentiation, cell growth and death. Activation of p38 often through extracellular stimuli such as bacterial pathogens and cytokines, mediates signal transduction into the nucleus to turn on the responsive genes. p38 also transduces signals to other cellular components to execute different cellular responses. In this review, we summarize the characteristics of the major components of the p38 signalling transduction pathway and highlight the targets of this pathway and the physiological function of the p38 activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases