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MAPK/ERK Signaling

The generic mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway is shared by four distinct cascades, which are named according to their MAPK tier component; the extracellular signal-related kinases (ERK1/2), Jun aminoterminal kinases (JNK1/2/3), p38-MAPK and ERK5. Mitogenactivated protein kinases/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) pathway is reported to be associated with the cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, senescence and apoptosis. The MAPK pathway includes the signaling molecules Ras, Raf, MEK, and ERK. 
Extracellular growth factors activate the pathway by binding to receptor tyrosine kinases. This mobilizes a cascade of signaling via the MAPK pathway signaling molecules. Ultimately, activation of the MAPK pathway leads to the transcription of genes that encode proteins involved in the regulation of essential cellular functions, such as cell growth, cell proliferation, and cell differentiation.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. Therefore, the development of small molecule drugs that selectively inhibit individual components of MAPK signaling pathways is a key therapeutic strategy for cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

References:

1.Sun Y et al.J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2015;35(6):600-4. doi: 10.3109/10799893.2015.1030412.