After injury, peripheral neuronal cells initiate complex signaling cascades to promote survival and regeneration. In the present study, we have identified the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) isoforms which are necessary for nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced neurite regrowth after injury of differentiated PC12 cells. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and the usually pro-apoptotic c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2 (JNK2) are crucial for neurite regrowth, while p38 plays no role in this context. Surprisingly, the MEK1 inhibitors PD 98059 and U 0126 blocked both ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation, indicating a novel form of balancing MAPK cascade cross-talk. Results from RNAi experiments excluded direct ERK/JNK interactions. We identified the upstream kinase MEKK1 as an activator of both the ERK1/2 and JNK2 pathways, whereby the ERK1/2 kinase MEK1 and the JNK kinase MKK7 bind to MEKK1 in a competing fashion. Our findings suggest an important role of JNK2 and MAPK pathway cross-talk in neurite regeneration.