Filamin associates with stress signalling kinases MKK7 and MKK4 and regulates JNK activation

Kentaro Nakagawa, Misato Sugahara, Tokiwa Yamasaki, Hiroaki Kajiho, Shinya Takahashi, Jun Hirayama, Yasuhiro Minami, Yasutaka Ohta, Toshio Watanabe, Yutaka Hata, Toshiaki Katada, Hiroshi Nishina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


SAPK/JNK (stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase) belongs to the MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) family and is important in many biological contexts. JNK activation is regulated by phosphorylation of specific tyrosine and threonine residues sequentially catalysed by MKK4 and MKK7, which are both dual-specificity MAPKKs (MAPK kinases). Previously, we reported that tyrosine-phosphorylation of JNK by MKK4 precedes threonine-phosphorylation by MKK7, and that both are required for synergistic JNK activation. In the present study, we identify the actin-binding protein-280 (Filamin A) as a presumed 'binder' protein that can bind to MKK7, as well as to MKK4, connecting them in close proximity. We show that Filamin family members A, B and C interact with MKK4 and MKK7, but not with JNK. Filamin A binds to an N-terminal region (residues 31-60) present in the MKK7γ and MKK7β splice isoforms, but cannot bind to MKK7α which lacks these amino acids. This same N-terminal region is crucial for the intracellular co-localization of MKK7γ with actin stress fibres and Filamin A. Experiments using Filamin-A-deletion mutants revealed that the MKK7-binding region of Filamin A differs from its MKK4-binding region, and that MKK7γ (but not MKK7α) can form a complex with Filamin A and MKK4. Finally, we used Filamin-Adeficient cells to show that Filamin A enhances MKK7 activation and is important for synergistic stress-induced JNK activation in vivo. Thus Filamin A is a novel member of the group of scaffold proteins whose function is to link two MAPKKs together and promote JNK activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Filamin
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MKK4)
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (MKK7)
  • Stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK)
  • Stress-activated protein kinase/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase kinase 1 (SEK1)
  • c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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