Although known for its acutely toxic action, palytoxin has also been identified as a type of carcinogenic agent called a tumor promoter. In general tumor promoters do not damage DNA, but instead contribute to carcinogenesis by disrupting the regulation of cellular signaling. The identification of palytoxin as a tumor promoter, together with the recognition that the Na+, K+-ATPase is its receptor, led to research on how palytoxin triggers the modulation of signal transduction pathways. This review focuses on mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinases as mediators of palytoxin-stimulated signaling. MAP kinases are a family of serine/threonine kinases that relay a variety of signals to the cellular machinery that regulates cell fate and function. The studies discussed in this review investigated how palytoxin stimulates MAP kinase activity and, in turn, how MAP kinases mediate the response of cells to palytoxin.
- Dual-specificity phosphatase
- Mitogen activated protein kinase
- Na+, K+-ATPase
- Tumor promoter