p38 MAP kinase: a convergence point in cancer therapy

Trends Mol Med. 2004 Mar;10(3):125-9. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2004.01.007.


Recent studies show that activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) results in cancer cell apoptosis initiated by retinoids, cisplatin and other chemotherapeutic agents. The observation that divergent therapies act through a common signal transduction pathway raises the possibility of developing new anti-cancer agents that lack the side-effects caused by events upstream of p38 MAPK. Here, we review p38-MAPK-mediated tumor cell apoptosis and implications for cancer therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Drug Design
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Retinoids / pharmacology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Retinoids
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Cisplatin