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J Biol Chem. 2000 Dec 22;275(51):40120-7.

MEKK1 binds raf-1 and the ERK2 cascade components.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9041, USA.


Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascades are involved in transmitting signals that are generated at the cell surface into the cytosol and nucleus and consist of three sequentially acting enzymes: a MAP kinase, an upstream MAP/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK), and a MEK kinase (MEKK). Protein-protein interactions within these cascades provide a mechanism to control the localization and function of the proteins. MEKK1 is implicated in activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) and ERK1/2 MAP kinase pathways. We showed previously that MEKK1 binds directly to JNK/SAPK. In this study we demonstrate that endogenous MEKK1 binds to endogenous ERK2, MEK1, and another MEKK level kinase, Raf-1, suggesting that it can assemble all three proteins of the ERK2 MAP kinase module.

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