The mammalian family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) includes extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38, and c-Jun NH(2)-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.
Considering the high level of sensitivity of our proposed sonographic classification, fine-needle aspiration biopsy should be performed on thyroid nodules classified as positive, regardless of palpability.
Cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas are common findings in patients treated with BRAF inhibitors.
We performed a molecular analysis to identify oncogenic mutations (HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, CDKN2A, and TP53) in the lesions from patients treated with the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. An analysis of an independent validation set and functional studies with BRAF inhibitors in the presence of the prevalent RAS mutation was also performed.
Among 21 tumor samples, 13 had RAS mutations (12 in HRAS). In a validation set of 14 samples, 8 had RAS mutations (4 in HRAS). Thus, 60% (21 of 35) of the specimens harbored RAS mutations, the most prevalent being HRAS Q61L. Increased proliferation of HRAS Q61L–mutant cell lines exposed to vemurafenib was associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)–pathway signaling and activation of ERK-mediated transcription. In a mouse model of HRAS Q61L–mediated skin carcinogenesis, the vemurafenib analogue PLX4720 was not an initiator or a promoter of carcinogenesis but accelerated growth of the lesions harboring HRAS mutations, and this growth was blocked by concomitant treatment with a MEK inhibitor.
Mutations in RAS, particularly HRAS, are frequent in cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas that develop in patients treated with vemurafenib. The molecular mechanism is consistent with the paradoxical activation of MAPK signaling and leads to accelerated growth of these lesions. (Funded by Hoffmann–La Roche and others; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00405587, NCT00949702, NCT01001299, and NCT01006980.)
The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in mammals include c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 MAPK, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). These enzymes are serine-threonine protein kinases that regulate various cellular activities including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis or survival, inflammation, and innate immunity. The compromised MAPK signaling pathways contribute to the pathology of diverse human diseases including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The JNK and p38 MAPK signaling pathways are activated by various types of cellular stress such as oxidative, genotoxic, and osmotic stress as well as by proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin 1β. The Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK signaling pathway plays a key role in cancer development through the stimulation of cell proliferation and metastasis. The p38 MAPK pathway contributes to neuroinflammation mediated by glial cells including microglia and astrocytes, and it has also been associated with anticancer drug resistance in colon and liver cancer. We here summarize recent research on the roles of MAPK signaling pathways in human diseases, with a focus on cancer and neurodegenerative conditions.
Fusarium graminearum is an important plant pathogen that causes head blight of major cereal crops. The fungus produces mycotoxins that are harmful to animal and human. In this study, a systematic analysis of 17 phenotypes of the mutants in 657 Fusarium graminearum genes encoding putative transcription factors (TFs) resulted in a database of over 11,000 phenotypes (phenome). This database provides comprehensive insights into how this cereal pathogen of global significance regulates traits important for growth, development, stress response, pathogenesis, and toxin production and how transcriptional regulations of these traits are interconnected. In-depth analysis of TFs involved in sexual development revealed that mutations causing defects in perithecia development frequently affect multiple other phenotypes, and the TFs associated with sexual development tend to be highly conserved in the fungal kingdom. Besides providing many new insights into understanding the function of F. graminearum TFs, this mutant library and phenome will be a valuable resource for characterizing the gene expression network in this fungus and serve as a reference for studying how different fungi have evolved to control various cellular processes at the transcriptional level.
The detection of thyroid nodules has become more common with the widespread use of ultrasonography (US). US is the mainstay for detecting and making the differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules as well as for providing guidance for a biopsy. The Task Force on Thyroid Nodules of the Korean Society of Thyroid Radiology has developed recommendations for the US diagnosis and US-based management of thyroid nodules. The review and recommendations in this report have been based on a comprehensive analysis of the current literature, the results of multicenter studies and from the consensus of experts.
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