Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinases 1 and 2

  • Lars-Inge Larsson
  • Susanne Holck
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2070-2



The extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) 1 and 2 (also referred to as mitogen-activated protein kinases 1 and 2; MAPK1/2) constitute major regulators of cell proliferation and survival and also regulate motility, differentiation, and senescence. They phosphorylate a multitude of cytoplasmic and nuclear substrates, including transcription factors. Mutations or overexpression of upstream ERK activators are implicated in oncogene-induced signaling in a wide variety of tumors. Inhibitors of ERK activation are used in cancer therapy.


The ERK Activation Cascade

ERKs 1 and 2 are activated through dual phosphorylation by a kinase cascade involving the upstream signaling entities RAS (rat sarcoma proto-oncogene), RAF (rat fibrosarcoma proto-oncogene), and MEK1/2 (MAPK/ERKs 1 and 2) (Fig. 1). There are three forms of RAS, KRAS (Kirsten RAS), HRAS (Harvey...


Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Focal Adhesion Kinase BRAF Mutation Serum Response Factor 
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See Also

  1. (2012) Phorbol ester. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin, p 2865. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_4522Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyCopenhagen University HospitalHvidovreDenmark