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Biomolecular Concepts

Editor-in-Chief: Jollès, Pierre / Mansuy, Isabelle

Editorial Board Member: Avila, Jesus / Bollen, Mathieu / Bonetto, Valentina / Cera, Enrico / Jorgensen, Erik / Jörnvall, Hans / Lagasse, Eric / Norman, Robert / Pinna, Lorenzo / Raghavan, K. Vijay / Venetianer, Pal / Wahli, Walter

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MAPKs in development: insights from Dictyostelium signaling pathways

1 / Hoai-Nghia Nguyen1

1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-3020, USA

Citation Information: BioMolecular Concepts. Volume 2, Issue 1-2, Pages 39–46, ISSN (Online) 1868-503X, ISSN (Print) 1868-5021, DOI: 10.1515/bmc.2011.004, February 2011

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Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play important roles in the development of eukaryotic organisms through the regulation of signal transduction pathways stimulated by external signals. MAPK signaling pathways have been associated with the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and chemotaxis, indicating that MAPKs contribute to a diverse set of developmental processes. In most eukaryotes, the diversity of external signals is likely to far exceed the diversity of MAPKs, suggesting that multiple signaling pathways might share MAPKs. Do different signaling pathways converge before MAPK function or can MAPKs maintain signaling specificity through interactions with specific proteins? The genetic and biochemical analysis of MAPK pathways in simple eukaryotes such as Dictyostelium offers opportunities to investigate functional specificity of MAPKs in G-protein-mediated signal transduction pathways. This review considers the regulation and specificity of MAPK function in pathways that control Dictyostelium growth and development.

Keywords: Dictyostelium; extracellular signal regulated kinase 1 (ERK1); ERK2; G protein; mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK)

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