Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 579-585

First online:

Role of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases (MKPs) in cancer

  • Gen Sheng WuAffiliated withProgram in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Department of Pathology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine Email author 

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The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases (MKPs) are a family of dual-specificity protein phosphatases that dephosphorylate both phospho-threonine and phospho-tyrosine residues in MAP kinases, including the c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK)/stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK), the p38 MAPK, and the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK). Since phosphorylation is required for the activation of MAP kinases, dephosphorylation by MKPs inhibits MAPK activity, thereby negatively regulating MAPK signaling. It is known that deregulation of MAPK signaling is the most common alteration in human cancers. Recent studies have suggested that MKPs play an important role not only in the development of cancers, but also in the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy. Thus, understanding the roles of MKPs in the development of cancer and their impact on chemotherapy can be exploited for therapeutic benefits for the treatment of human cancer.


Cancer MKP MAPKs