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EMBO Rep. 2002 Aug;3(8):735-40.

Dealing with osmostress through MAP kinase activation.

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  • 1Cell Signaling Unit, Department de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.


In response to changes in the extracellular environment, cells coordinate intracellular activities to maximize their probability of survival and proliferation. Eukaryotic cells, from yeast to mammals, transduce diverse extracellular stimuli through the cell by multiple mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. Exposure of cells to increases in extracellular osmolarity results in rapid activation of a highly conserved family of MAPKs, known as stress-activated MAPKs (SAPKs). Activation of SAPKs is essential for the induction of adaptive responses required for cell survival upon osmostress. Recent studies have begun to shed light on the broad effects of SAPK activation in the modulation of several aspects of cell physiology, ranging from the control of gene expression to the regulation of cell division.

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