Regulation of MAP kinase-dependent apoptotic pathway: implication of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005 Apr 15;436(2):406-12. doi: 10.1016/


Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling cascades are multi-functional signaling networks that influence cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, and cellular responses to stress. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a MAP kinase kinase kinase that triggers apoptogenic kinase cascade leading to the phosphorylation/activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases and p38-MAP kinase, which are responsible for inducing apoptotic cell death. This pathway plays a pivotal role in transduction of signals from different apoptotic stimuli. In the present review, we summarized the recent evidence concerning MAP kinase-dependent apoptotic pathway and its regulation in the mammalian cells and organism in vivo. We have shown that the key messengers of regulation of this pathway are the reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. The role of protein oxidation and S-nitrosation in induction of apoptotic cell death via ASK1 is discussed. Also we have outlined other recently discovered signal transduction processes involved in the regulation of ASK1 activity and downstream pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinase 5 / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Signal Transduction
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinase 5
  • Oxygen