Cancer is still a leading cause of mortality. Each year 18 million people worldwide get diagnosed with cancer. The current trend is increasing. This makes cancer research more important.
MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAP-K2, MK2; Gene ID: 9261) is a 400 AA (46kDa) large enzyme that plays a central role mainly in the inflammatory response and cytokines production. It belongs to the serine/threonine-protein kinase family and is also involved in endocytosis, reorganization of the cytoskeleton, cell migration, cell cycle control, chromatin remodeling, DNA damage response and transcriptional regulation.1-4
Following stress, it is phosphorylated (at Thr-222, Ser-272 and Thr-334) and activated by MAP kinase p38-alpha/MAPK14, leading to phosphorylation of substrates.5 Phosphorylation of Thr-334 (located between the kinase domain and the C-terminal regulatory domain) may serve as a switch for MK2 nuclear import and export. Phosphorylated MK2 masks the nuclear localization signal at its C-terminus by binding to p38. It unmasks the nuclear export signal, which is part of the second C-terminal helix packed along the surface of kinase domain C-lobe, and thereby carries p38 to the cytoplasm.6, 7