Pathological roles of MAPK signaling pathways in human diseases

Eun Kyung Kim, Eui Ju Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1848 Citations (Scopus)


The mammalian family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) includes extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), with each MAPK signaling pathway consisting of at least three components, a MAPK kinase kinase (MAP3K), a MAPK kinase (MAP2K), and a MAPK. The MAPK pathways are activated by diverse extracellular and intracellular stimuli including peptide growth factors, cytokines, hormones, and various cellular stressors such as oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress. These signaling pathways regulate a variety of cellular activities including proliferation, differentiation, survival, and death. Deviation from the strict control of MAPK signaling pathways has been implicated in the development of many human diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and various types of cancers. Persistent activation of the JNK or p38 signaling pathways has been suggested to mediate neuronal apoptosis in AD, PD, and ALS, whereas the ERK signaling pathway plays a key role in several steps of tumorigenesis including cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the roles of MAPK signaling pathways in human disorders, focusing on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases including AD, PD, and ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-405
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant ( KRF-2006-341-C00023 ), by the Basic Science Research Program ( 2009-0080895 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), and a NRF grant ( 20090081488 ) (E.-J.C.), and a NRF grant ( 2009-0067112 ) (E.K.K.) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, South Korea.


  • Cancer
  • JNK
  • MAPK
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • p38

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pathological roles of MAPK signaling pathways in human diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this