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J Biol Chem. 1998 Apr 10;273(15):9344-51.

Human mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7) is a highly conserved c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) activated by environmental stresses and physiological stimuli.

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  • 1The Biomedical Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.


We report the cloning of a novel human activator of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7). The mRNA for MKK7 is widely expressed in humans and mice and encodes a 47-kDa protein (419 amino acids), as determined by immunoblotting endogenous MKK7 with an antibody raised against its N terminus. The kinase domain of MKK7 is closely related to a Drosophila JNK kinase dHep (69% identity) and to a newly identified ortholog from Caenorhabditis elegans (54% identity), and was more distantly related to MKK4, MKK3, and MKK6. MKK7 phosphorylated and activated JNK1 but failed to activate p38 MAPK in co-expression studies. In hematopoietic cells, endogenous MKK7 was activated by treatment with the growth factor interleukin-3 (but not interleukin-4), or by ligation of CD40, the B-cell antigen receptor, or the receptor for the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin. MKK7 was also activated when cells were exposed to heat, UV irradiation, anisomycin, hyperosmolarity or the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Co-expression of constitutively active mutants of RAS, RAC, or CDC42 in HeLa epithelial cells or of RAC or CDC42 in Ba/F3 factor-dependent hematopoietic cells also activated MKK7, suggesting that MKK7 will be involved in many physiological pathways.

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