p38 MAP Kinase (MAPK), also called RK or CSBP (Cytokinin Specific Binding Protein) , is the mammalian orthologue of the yeastHog1p MAP kinase, which participates in a signaling cascade controlling cellular responses to cytokines and stress.
MKK3 and SEK activate p38 MAP kinase by phosphorylation at Thr-180 and Tyr-182. Activated p38 MAP kinase has been shown to phosphorylate and activate MAPKAP kinase 2 and to phosphorylate the transcription factors ATF2, Mac and MEF2. p38 also has been shown to phosphorylate post-transcriptional regulating factors like TTP.
P38 inhibitors are being sought for possible therapeutic effect on autoimmune diseases and inflammatory processes, e.g. pamapimod. Some have started clinical trials, e.g. PH-797804 for COPD. Other p38 inhibitors include BIRB 796, VX-702, SB 239063, SCIO 469, and BMS 582949.
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