PB1 domains of MEKK2 and MEKK3 interact with the MEK5 PB1 domain for activation of the ERK5 pathway.

Article Details


Nakamura K, Johnson GL

PB1 domains of MEKK2 and MEKK3 interact with the MEK5 PB1 domain for activation of the ERK5 pathway.

J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 26;278(39):36989-92. Epub 2003 Aug 11.

PubMed ID
12912994 [ View in PubMed

MEKK2 and MEKK3 are MAPK kinase kinases that activate the ERK5 pathway by phosphorylating and activating the MAPK kinase, MEK5. Activated MEK5 then phosphorylates and activates ERK5. PB1 domains were first defined in the p67phox and Bem1p proteins and have been shown to mediate protein-protein heterodimerization. A PB1 domain is encoded within the N-terminal portion of MEKK2, MEKK3, and MEK5. Herein, we analyze the functional role of MEKK2, MEKK3, and MEK5 PB1 domains in the ERK5 activation pathway. The PB1 domains of MEKK2 and MEKK3 bind the PB1 domain of MEK5 but do not significantly homo- or heterodimerize with one another in vitro. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation of MEKK2 and MEK5 from cell lysates shows that they form a complex in vivo. Deletion or mutation of the MEKK2 PB1 domain abolishes MEKK2-MEK5 complexes, demonstrating that the PB1 domain interaction is required for MEKK2-MEK5 interactions. Expression in cells of the MEKK2 or MEKK3 PB1 domain inhibits ERK5 activation, whereas expression of a mutant MEKK2 unable to bind the MEK5 PB1 domain or expression of the p67phox PB1 domain has no effect on ERK5 activation. These findings demonstrate that the PB1 domain mediates the association of MEKK2 and MEKK3 with MEK5 and that the respective PB1 domains of these kinases are critical for regulation of the ERK5 pathway. The free PB1 domain of MEKK2 or MEKK3 functions effectively to inhibit the ERK5 pathway but not the p38 or JNK pathways, demonstrating the specific and unique requirement of the MEKK2 and MEKK3 PB1 domain in regulating ERK5 activation.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3Q99759Details