MAPK consensus sites

Jim Woodgett jwoodget at
Thu Aug 28 15:08:09 EST 1997

In article <34058E89.1554 at>, wim vanden berghe <
wimvdb at> writes:
> Does anybody know where I can find information on the consensus sequences 
> used as phosphorylation sites for kinases in general, especially MAP 
> kinases? Does there exist software to screen for consensus 
> phosphorylation patterns in protein sequences? 

In general the conventional MAPKs (Erk1/2) prefer PXSP (or PXTP).  

The p38 and SAPK/JNK MAPKs are distinct and don't require an upstream proline.  
Comparison of their preferred sequences isn't particularly revealing since 
these kinases determine their physiological substrates in large part through 
interaction domains which are physically distinct from the phosphorylation 
sites (as in Jun, ATF2 etc.).

There is an algorithm termed Prosite <
prosite.html> which will collate motifs in a sequence including certain 
phosphorylation sites.  However, its value is questionable for this purpose as 
local consensus is a small part of kinase/substrate recognition and few 
consensus motifs are included (PKA, PKC, CKII etc.).

Bruce Kemp wrote an article for TIBS on kinase consensus sites which although 
being a few years old is still very useful:  TIBS 19, 440-444 (1994).

Jim Woodgett

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