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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jun 28;277(26):23919-26. Epub 2002 Apr 16.

Scaffold role of a mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase, SKRP1, for the JNK signaling pathway.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Keio University, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0016, Japan.


Stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) pathway-regulating phosphatase 1 (SKRP1) has been identified as a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase (MKP) family that interacts physically with the MAPK kinase (MAPKK) MKK7, a c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activator, and inactivates the MAPK JNK pathway. Although these findings indicated that SKRP1 contributes to the precise regulation of JNK signaling, it remains to be elucidated how SKRP1 is integrated into this pathway. We report that SKRP1 also plays a scaffold role for the JNK signaling, judged by the following observations. SKRP1 selectively formed the stable complexes with MKK7 but not with MKK4 and biphasically regulated the MKK7 activity and MKK7-induced gene transcription in vivo. Co-precipitation analysis between SKRP1 and MKK7-activating MAPKK kinases (MAPKKKs) revealed that SKRP1 also interacted with the MAPKKK, apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1), but not with MAP kinase kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1). Consistent with these findings, SKRP1 expression increased the ASK1-MKK7 complexes in a dose-dependent manner and specifically enhanced the activation of MKK7 by ASK1. Thus, our findings are, to our knowledge, the first evidence to show that an MKP also functions as a scaffold protein for the particular MAPK signaling.

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