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Mammalian c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are members of a group of stress-activated intracellular signalling molecules within the MAP kinase family. Molecular genetic analysis of a highly evolutionarily conserved Drosophila JNK homologue, DJNK, has demonstrated that this molecule plays an essential developmental role in cell shape regulation. However, it remains to be determined whether DJNK also responds to the broad range of cellular stresses and other stimuli that affect its mammalian counterpart. Here we demonstrate that c-Jun, a substrate for mammalian JNKs, is a specific substrate for DJNK and that an antiserum that cross-reacts with activated mammalian JNK at the conserved threonyl-prolyl-tyrosyl (TPY) motif within the activation loop also specifically recognises the activated form of DJNK. Using these two assays, we show that DJNK activity is stimulated in cultured cells by several treatments that activate mammalian JNKs, including addition of arsenite, vanadate and ceramide derivatives. It is therefore concluded that in addition to its essential developmental functions, DJNK plays an important role in stress responses that mirrors its mammalian counterpart.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Insect Biochem Mol Biol

Publication Date

26/07/2001

Volume

31

Pages

839 - 847

Keywords

Animals, Cell Line, Cell Size, Drosophila, Enzyme Activation, JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Mammals, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Phosphorylation, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun