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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Aug;1773(8):1227-37. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Regulation of MAP kinases by MAP kinase phosphatases.

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


MAP kinase phosphatases (MKPs) catalyze dephosphorylation of activated MAP kinase (MAPK) molecules and deactivate them. Therefore, MKPs play an important role in determining the magnitude and duration of MAPK activities. MKPs constitute a structurally distinct family of dual-specificity phosphatases. The MKP family members share the sequence homology and the preference for MAPK molecules, but they are different in substrate specificity among MAPK molecules, tissue distribution, subcellular localization and inducibility by extracellular stimuli. Our understanding of their protein structure, substrate recognition mechanisms, and regulatory mechanisms of the enzymatic activity has greatly increased over the past few years. Furthermore, although there are a number of MKPs, that have similar substrate specificities, non-redundant roles of MKPs have begun to be identified. Here we focus on recent findings regarding regulation and function of the MKP family members as physiological regulators of MAPK signaling.

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