The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a conserved eukaryotic signaling module that converts receptor signals into various outputs. MAPK is activated through phosphorylation by MAPK kinase (MAPKK), which is first activated by MAPKK kinase (MAPKKK). A genetic selection based on a MAPK pathway in yeast was used to identify a mouse protein kinase (TAK1) distinct from other members of the MAPKKK family. was shown to participate in regulation of transcription by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). Furthermore, kinase activity of TAK1 was stimulated in response to TGF-β and bone morphogenetic protein. These results suggest that TAK1 functions as a mediator in the signaling pathway of TGF-β superfamily members.
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