Constitutively active mutants that acquired intrinsic activity and escaped regulation, serve as powerful tools for revealing the biochemical, biological and pathological functions of proteins. Such mutants are not available for mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). It is not known how to mimic the unusual mode of MAPK activation and to enforce, by mutations, their active conformation. In this review we describe the strategies employed in attempts to overcome this obstacle. We focus on a recent breakthrough with the p38 family that suggests that active variants of all MAPKs will soon be available.
- Gain-of-function mutations
- MAP kinase