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The Drosophila MAP kinase DJNK is a homolog of the mammalian c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK). Mutations in the DJNK gene correspond to the complementation group basket. DJNK is phosphorylated and activated by the Drosophila MAP kinase kinase HEP. Substrates of DJNK include the transcription factor DJun. DJNK participates in multiple physiological processes. Exposure to endotoxic lipopolysaccharide initiates an insect immune response and leads to DJNK activation. In addition, embryos lacking DJNK are defective in dorsal closure, a process in which the lateral epithelial cells migrate over the embryo and join at the dorsal midline. These data demonstrate that the DJNK signal transduction pathway mediates an immune response and morphogenesis in vivo.

Original publication




Journal article


Genes Dev

Publication Date





2745 - 2758


Alleles, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, DNA, Complementary, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases, Molecular Sequence Data, Morphogenesis, Phenotype, Phosphorylation, Protein Kinases, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Signal Transduction, Substrate Specificity