Crystal structure of JNK2 complexed with BIRB796
[MK09_HUMAN] Serine/threonine-protein kinase involved in various processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, transformation and programmed cell death. Extracellular stimuli such as proinflammatory cytokines or physical stress stimulate the stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAP/JNK) signaling pathway. In this cascade, two dual specificity kinases MAP2K4/MKK4 and MAP2K7/MKK7 phosphorylate and activate MAPK9/JNK2. In turn, MAPK9/JNK2 phosphorylates a number of transcription factors, primarily components of AP-1 such as JUN and ATF2 and thus regulates AP-1 transcriptional activity. In response to oxidative or ribotoxic stresses, inhibits rRNA synthesis by phosphorylating and inactivating the RNA polymerase 1-specific transcription initiation factor RRN3. Promotes stressed cell apoptosis by phosphorylating key regulatory factors including TP53 and YAP1. In T-cells, MAPK8 and MAPK9 are required for polarized differentiation of T-helper cells into Th1 cells. Upon T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation, is activated by CARMA1, BCL10, MAP2K7 and MAP3K7/TAK1 to regulate JUN protein levels. Plays an important role in the osmotic stress-induced epithelial tight-junctions disruption. When activated, promotes beta-catenin/CTNNB1 degradation and inhibits the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Participates also in neurite growth in spiral ganglion neurons.      MAPK9 isoforms display different binding patterns: alpha-1 and alpha-2 preferentially bind to JUN, whereas beta-1 and beta-2 bind to ATF2. However, there is no correlation between binding and phosphorylation, which is achieved at about the same efficiency by all isoforms. JUNB is not a substrate for JNK2 alpha-2, and JUND binds only weakly to it.     
Publication Abstract from PubMed
JNK2 and p38alpha are closely related mitogen-activated protein kinases that regulate various cellular activities and are considered drug targets for inflammatory diseases. We have determined the X-ray crystal structure of the clinical phase II p38alpha inhibitor BIRB796 bound to its off-target JNK2. This shows for the first time a JNK subfamily member in the DFG-out conformation. The fully resolved activation loop reveals that BIRB796 inhibits JNK2 activation by stabilizing the loop in a position that does not allow its phosphorylation by upstream kinases. The structure suggests that substituents at the BIRB796 morpholino group and modifications of the t-butyl moiety should further increase the p38alpha to JNK2 potency ratio. For the design of selective DFG-out binding JNK2 inhibitors, the binding pocket of the BIRB796 tolyl group may have the best potential.
X-ray crystal structure of JNK2 complexed with the p38alpha inhibitor BIRB796: insights into the rational design of DFG-out binding MAP kinase inhibitors.,Kuglstatter A, Ghate M, Tsing S, Villasenor AG, Shaw D, Barnett JW, Browner MF Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2010 Sep 1;20(17):5217-20. Epub 2010 Jul 23. PMID:20655210
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.