MAP kinase pathways are remarkably conserved throughout evolution. For example, the stress-activated kinase P38 present in higher eukaryotes has functional orthologs in yeast and is activated by a variety of stress stimuli. In addition, yeast has AP-1-like transcription factors which are downstream of the stress kinase pathway and respond to environmental stress by mediating changes in gene expression.
The Cell Regulation Laboratory is investigating the biological roles and the regulation of the stress-activated transcription factor ATF2 and other close members of the AP-1 family of transcription factor complexes. The biological role of these factors is being studied using a mouse genetics approach. In addition, the laboratory is using fission yeast as a convenient model to gain insights into nature of stress responses and how they are mediated and regulated. Because of the conservation in stress responses, it is anticipated that these insights will be relevant to mammalian cells.
Figure 1 - MAP Kinase Pathways
Functional characteristics of ATF-2
Stress Responses in Fission Yeast