p38 MAPK in Development and Cancer


p38 is a MAPK that has been shown to induce a wide variety of biological effects in cell culture, in response to a wide range of stimuli. These effects are dependent not only on the stimuli, but also on the cellular context, resulting in a bewildering array of possibilites1. For example, p38 was shown to induce apoptosis in some cells, but prevent apoptosis in others2. Similarly opposed effects had been observed with respect to cell cycle regulation2. The role of p38 in inflammatory disease has been appreciated from the beginning, since it was initially identified as an cytokine inducer3. More recently, p38 function has been evaluated in vivo, and through these studies p38 has emerged as an important regulator of both embryonic development and cancer progression. This review will focus on these in vivo studies in an effort to provide perspective on p38 biologically and as a pharmacological target.

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p38 MAPK in Development and Cancer