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Blood. 2003 Jun 15;101(12):4667-79. Epub 2003 Mar 6.

Map kinase signaling pathways and hematologic malignancies.

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  • 1Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago IL 60611, USA.


Mitogen-activated protein (Map) kinases are widely expressed serine-threonine kinases that mediate important regulatory signals in the cell. Three major groups of Map kinases exist: the p38 Map kinase family, the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) family, and the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) family. The members of the different Map kinase groups participate in the generation of various cellular responses, including gene transcription, induction of cell death or maintenance of cell survival, malignant transformation, and regulation of cell-cycle progression. Depending on the specific family isoform involved and the cellular context, Map kinase pathways can mediate signals that either promote or suppress the growth of malignant hematopoietic cells. Over the last few years, extensive work by several groups has established that Map kinase pathways play critical roles in the pathogenesis of various hematologic malignancies, providing new molecular targets for future therapeutic approaches. In this review, the involvement of various Map kinase pathways in the pathophysiology of hematologic malignances is summarized and the clinical implications of the recent advances in the field are discussed.

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