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Cell. 1994 Mar 25;76(6):1025-37.

JNK1: a protein kinase stimulated by UV light and Ha-Ras that binds and phosphorylates the c-Jun activation domain.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01605.


The ultraviolet (UV) response of mammalian cells is characterized by a rapid and selective increase in gene expression mediated by AP-1 and NF-kappa B. The effect on AP-1 transcriptional activity results, in part, from enhanced phosphorylation of the c-Jun NH2-terminal activation domain. Here, we describe the molecular cloning and characterization of JNK1, a distant relative of the MAP kinase group that is activated by dual phosphorylation at Thr and Tyr during the UV response. Significantly, Ha-Ras partially activates JNK1 and potentiates the activation caused by UV. JNK1 binds to the c-Jun transactivation domain and phosphorylates it on Ser-63 and Ser-73. Thus, JNK1 is a component of a novel signal transduction pathway that is activated by oncoproteins and UV irradiation. These properties indicate that JNK1 activation may play an important role in tumor promotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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