Activation of the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) group of mitogen- activated protein (MAP) kinases is mediated by a protein kinase cascade. This signaling mechanism may be coordinated by the interaction of components of the protein kinase cascade with scaffold proteins. The JNK-interacting protein (JIP) group of scaffold proteins selectively mediates signaling by the mixed-lineage kinase (MLK)→MAP kinase kinase 7 (MKK7)→JNK pathway. The scaffold proteins JIP1 and JIP2 interact to form oligomeric complexes that accumulate in peripheral cytoplasmic projections extended at the cell surface. The JIP proteins function by aggregating components of a MAP kinase module (including MLK, MKK7, and JNK) and facilitate signal transmission by the protein kinase cascade.
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