Regulation of atypical MAP kinases ERK3 and ERK4 by the phosphatase DUSP2

Maria Perander, Rania Al-Mahdi, Thomas C. Jensen, Jennifer A. L. Nunn, Hanne Kildalsen, Bjarne Johansen, Mads Gabrielsen, Stephen M. Keyse, Ole-Morten Seternes (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    23 Citations (Scopus)
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    The atypical MAP kinases ERK3 and ERK4 are activated by phosphorylation of a serine residue lying within the activation loop signature sequence S-E-G. However, the regulation of ERK3 and ERK4 phosphorylation and activity is poorly understood. Here we report that the inducible nuclear dualspecificity MAP kinase phosphatase (MKP) DUSP2, a known regulator of the ERK and p38 MAPKs, is unique amongst the MKP family in being able to bind to both ERK3 and ERK4. This interaction is mediated by a conserved common docking (CD) domain within the carboxyl-terminal domains of ERK3 and ERK4 and the conserved kinase interaction motif (KIM) located within the non-catalytic amino terminus of DUSP2. This interaction is direct and results in the dephosphorylation of ERK3 and ERK4 and the stabilization of DUSP2. In the case of ERK4 its ability to stabilize DUSP2 requires its kinase activity. Finally, we demonstrate that expression of DUSP2 inhibits ERK3 and ERK4-mediated activation of its downstream substrate MK5. We conclude that the activity of DUSP2 is not restricted to the classical MAPK pathways and that DUSP2 can also regulate the atypical ERK3/4-MK5 signalling pathway in mammalian cells.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number43471
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2017


    • MAPK
    • DUSP phosphatases
    • cell signalling
    • protein kinases
    • dephoshorylation
    • protein-protein interaction


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