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Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Jul;25(14):5955-64.

Mip1, an MEKK2-interacting protein, controls MEKK2 dimerization and activation.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are central components of the intracellular signaling networks used by eukaryotic cells to respond to a wide spectrum of extracellular stimuli. An MAPK is activated by an MAPK kinase, which in turn is activated by an MAPK kinase kinase (MAP3K). However, little is known about the molecular aspects of the regulation and activation of large numbers of MAP3Ks that are crucial in relaying upstream receptor-mediated signals through the MAPK cascades to induce various physiological responses. In this study, we identified a novel MEKK2-interacting protein, Mip1, that regulates MEKK2 dimerization and activation by forming a complex with inactive and nonphosphorylated MEKK2. In particular, Mip1 prevented MEKK2 activation by blocking MEKK2 dimer formation, which in turn blocked JNKK2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5, and AP-1 reporter gene activation by MEKK2. Furthermore, we found that the endogenous Mip1-MEKK2 complex was dissociated transiently following epidermal growth factor stimulation. In contrast, the knockdown of Mip1 expression by siRNA augmented the MEKK2-mediated JNK and AP-1 reporter activation. Together, our data suggest a novel model for MEKK2 regulation and activation.

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