From signal to cell polarity: Mitogen-activated protein kinases as sensors and effectors of cytoskeleton dynamicity

Jozef Šamaj*, František Baluška, Heribert Hirt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are ubiquitous phosphorylation enzymes involved in signal transduction, gene expression and activation of diverse cytoskeletal proteins. MAPKs participate in the regulation of a broad range of crucial cellular processes including cell survival, division, polarization, stress responses, and metabolism. Phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins usually results in the rearrangement of cytoskeletal arrays leading to morphological changes and cell polarization. On the other hand, some cytoskeletal motor proteins, such as kinesins, could activate MAPK members and participate in signal delivery to the proper cellular destination (e.g. during cell division). Moreover, changes in the integrity of cytoskeletal elements have direct impacts on MAPK activity. Recent evidence suggests that there is bi-directional signalling between MAPK cascades and cytoskeleton. The focus here is on this cross-talk between MAPK signalling and the cytoskeleton in various eukaryotic systems including yeast, plants, and mammals and a role is proposed for MAPKs as sensors monitoring the cytoskeleton-dependent balance of forces within the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number395
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Actin filaments
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Kinesin
  • Microtubules
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinases
  • Signalling
  • Tip-growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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