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EMBO Rep. 2006 Aug;7(8):782-6.

MAPK signalling: ERK5 versus ERK1/2.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 5 (ERK5) is a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family and, similar to ERK1/2, has the Thr-Glu-Tyr (TEY) activation motif. Both ERK5 and ERK1/2 are activated by growth factors and have an important role in the regulation of cell proliferation and cell differentiation. Moreover, both the ERK5 and the ERK1/2 pathways are sensitive to PD98059 and U0126, which are two well-known inhibitors of the ERK pathway. Despite these similarities, recent studies have revealed distinctive features of the ERK5 pathway: ERK5 has a key role in cardiovascular development and neural differentiation; ERK5 nuclear translocation is controlled by its own nuclear localizing and nuclear export activities; and the carboxy-terminal half of ERK5, which follows its kinase catalytic domain, has a unique function.

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