Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) super family, playing a role in regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis. ERK1/2 are protein-Ser/Thr kinases that participate in the Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK signal transduction cascade; with 83% shared amino acid identity, ERK1 (44 kDa) and ERK2 (42 kDa) are expressed in almost all tissues and have higher homology in their core regions. Extracellular stimuli such as growth factors, mitogens, cytokines, hormones, and oxidative or heat stress can trigger signal transduction pathways that lead to ERK1/2 activation. For example, human MEK1/2 phosphorylates the effector MAPKs ERK1/2 on Tyr204/187 and Thr202/185 in the TEY sequence to activate its enzymatic function.
When activated, ERK1/2 preferentially phosphorylate substrates containing the Ser/Thr-Pro motif, with the optimal consensus sequence identified as Pro-Xxx-Ser/Thr-Pro. The ERK1/2 proline-directed kinases phosphorylate a multitude of cytoplasmic and nuclear protein substrates including signaling effectors, protein kinases, receptors and cytoskeletal proteins. In addition to this, ERK1/2 also phosphorylate an array of proteins involved in various processes including cell adhesion, cell cycle progression, proliferation, migration, differentiation, cell survival and metabolism. ERK1/2 can also translocate into the nucleus and phosphorylate many transcription factors. The co-ordinated variations of ERK1/2 signalling from its duration, magnitude, subcellular localization and protein interactions can determine the final outcome of cellular fate. Due to the varied and complex nature of ERK1/2 action, combined with its role in several different signalling transduction pathways, these extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERK1/2) maintain a vital function in cell proliferation and apoptosis.
Antibodies available to purchase via DISCOVERY Antibodies
Anti-ERK 1/2 Antibody
Alexa Fluor® 488 Anti-ERK1/2 antibody
We also stock the ERK1 antigen peptide on our DISCOVERY Antibodies site:
ERK 1 peptide