Distinct roles for ERK1 and ERK2 in pathophysiology of CNS

Chen Guang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mitogen-activated protein kinases ERK1 and ERK2 have been implicated in various pathophysiological events of the CNS, but their specific roles in cell processes under physiologic and pathological conditions remain to be determined. ERK1/2 was originally identified as a kinase activity that mediates neuronal survival and neuroprotection, but it was subsequently found that ERK1/2 also plays a critical role in neurodegeneration. This dichotomy makes it difficult to target ERK1/2 for neuroprotection. Accumulating evidence suggests that ERK1 and ERK2 may play distinct functions in a variety of cell fate decisions. In this review, I summarize recent evidence for distinct roles for individual ERK isoforms in pathophysiology of the CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank Dr. James Geddes for comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by grants from the Paralysis Project of America and the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust (#7-6A and 11-19A).


  • ERK isoform
  • cell death
  • cell proliferation
  • neurodegeneration
  • neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Genetics


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