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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Sep 21;1451(2-3):334-42.

A strategy to make constitutively active MAP kinase by fusing with constitutively active MAP kinase kinase.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


Classical mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play a pivotal role in a variety of cellular signal transduction pathways. MAPKs are activated by phosphorylation at specific threonine and tyrosine residues catalyzed by upstream MAPK kinases (MAPKKs). Mutations of these two activation phosphorylation sites into acidic amino acids, however, do not convert MAPKs into constitutively active forms. Here, we report an approach to make a molecule with constitutive MAPK activity. The nuclear export signal-disrupted, constitutively active MAPKK was fused to the N-terminal end of wild-type MAPK. When the resulting fusion protein was expressed in Escherichia coli, the MAPK moiety became phosphorylated and the fusion protein was constitutively active as MAPK. Moreover, when expressed in mammalian cultured cells, the fusion protein was also activated as MAPK and was able to induce marked morphological changes in NIH-3T3 cells. These results suggest that the fusion protein can work as constitutively active MAPK and that this approach may be applicable to other members of the MAPK family to make constitutively active forms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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