Heterogeneous expression of four MAP kinase isoforms in human tissues.
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAP kinases) are a group of closely related enzymes implicated in signal transduction pathways. We report the molecular cloning of four human proteins (p40mapk, p41mapk, p44mapk and p63mapk) with high homology to members of the MAP kinase family. Sequence analysis demonstrated that p44mapk and p63mapk were the products of distinct genes. However, the p40mapk and p41mapk were found to be related, and are likely to result from alternative processing of transcripts from a single gene. The heterogeneous expression of these human MAP kinase isoforms in different tissues may reflect the diversity of signal transduction pathways in differentiated cells.