Targeted deletion of mek5 causes early embryonic death and defects in the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5/myocyte enhancer factor 2 cell survival pathway

Xin Wang, Anita J. Merritt, Jan Seyfried, Chun Guo, Emmanouil S. Papadakis, Katherine G. Finegan, Midori Kayahara, Jill Dixon, Raymond P. Boot-Handford, Elizabeth J. Cartwright, Ulrike Mayer, Cathy Tournier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    To elucidate the physiological significance of MEK5 in vivo, we have examined the effect of mek5 gene elimination in mice. Heterozygous mice appear to be healthy and were fertile. However, mek5-/- embryos die at approximately embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5). The phenotype of the mek5 -/- embryos includes abnormal cardiac development as well as a marked decrease in proliferation and an increase in apoptosis in the heart, head, and dorsal regions of the mutant embryos. The absence of MEK5 does not affect cell cycle progression but sensitizes mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to the ability of sorbitol to enhance caspase 3 activity. Further studies with mek5-/- MEFs indicate that MEK5 is required for mediating extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (ERK5) activation and for the regulation of the transcriptional activity of myocyte enhancer factor 2. Overall, this is the first study to rigorously establish the role of MEK5 in vivo as an activator of ERK5 and as an essential regulator of cell survival that is required for normal embryonic development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)336-345
    Number of pages9
    JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
    Volume25
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

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