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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2007 Jun;7(3):339-43. Epub 2007 Mar 29.

Inhibitors of stress-activated protein/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.

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Medicine & Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland OH 44106-5076, USA.


The importance of stress-activated protein/mitogen-activated protein kinase (SAP/MAPK) pathway signalling (involving c-Jun-N-terminal kinase [JNK], extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK] and p38 kinase) in normal cellular proliferation, differentiation and programmed cell death has led to significant recent advances in our understanding of the role of SAP/MAPK signaling in inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and pulmonary and neurogenerative diseases. The discovery that several natural products such as resveratrol, tangeretin and ligustilide non-specifically inhibit SAP/MAPK signalling in vitro should now be logically extended to studies designed to determine how agents in these natural products regulate SAP/MAPK pathways in animal models of disease. A new generation of small-molecule SAP/MAPK inhibitors that demonstrate increasing specificity for each of the JNK, ERK and p38 kinase isoforms has shown promise in animal studies and could eventually prove effective for treating human diseases. Several of these compounds are already being tested in human subjects to assess their oral bioavailability, pharmacokinetics and toxicity.

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