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Special Issue "The Function of Stress Protein Kinases in Cell Death and Meiosis"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. José Manuel López Blanco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institut de Neurociències, Faculty of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Cerdanyola de Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: stress protein kinases; cell death nechanisms; meiotic progression; p38; JNK; AMPK; ERK; cell signaling; xenopus oocytes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Stress protein kinases are fundamental for many biological processes mediating the response of the cell to internal or external changes. A cell under stress uses the biological machinery, engaging programs to overcome challenging situations. However, if the stress signal persists or becomes too strong, a new program is initiated, leading to cell death. Meiosis, on the other hand, is a type of cell division that reduces the number of chromosomes in the parent cell by half and produces four gamete cells, each genetically distinct from the parent cell, thus increasing genetic variability. At first glance, it might seem that meiosis and apoptosis (or programmed cell death) are two completely different biological phenomena. However, meiosis in yeast (sporulation) requires that the cells be deprived of at least one essential nutrient, the presence of a non-fermentable carbon source, and the absence of glucose. Therefore, meiosis in this unicellular organism is a response to a stress situation, an adaptation to an unfavorable nutritional environment through an increase in genetic variability and the protection of its genetic material within the walls of the spore. Several authors have also suggested that cell cycle regulation is a general response to stress that is essential for cell survival. Importantly, meiosis and cell death are irreversible processes regulated by ultrasensitive sensors and signaling circuits that include multiple positive feedback loops. Functioning as sensors and switches, the stress protein kinases play a critical role in the regulation of cell fate decisions.

In this Special Issue of IJMS, we will address the role of stress protein kinases (e.g., AMPK, JNK, p38, but also other protein kinases and phosphatases) in apoptosis or meiosis. Stress protein kinases can have pro- or anti-apoptotic properties, and can regulate meiosis at different stages by using different mechanisms depending of the stimuli and the species considered. We will consider all reports, without restrictions in the animal or cellular model used. We encourage researchers to contribute experimental papers or review articles.

Prof. Dr. José Manuel López Blanco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • stress protein kinases
  • apoptosis
  • meiosis
  • p38
  • JNK
  • AMPK
  • ERK
  • cell signaling
  • cell death mechanisms
  • oocytes

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Understanding MAPK Signaling Pathways in Apoptosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072346 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 113 | Viewed by 2764
MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signaling pathways regulate a variety of biological processes through multiple cellular mechanisms. In most of these processes, such as apoptosis, MAPKs have a dual role since they can act as activators or inhibitors, depending on the cell type and [...] Read more.
MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signaling pathways regulate a variety of biological processes through multiple cellular mechanisms. In most of these processes, such as apoptosis, MAPKs have a dual role since they can act as activators or inhibitors, depending on the cell type and the stimulus. In this review, we present the main pro- and anti-apoptotic mechanisms regulated by MAPKs, as well as the crosstalk observed between some MAPKs. We also describe the basic signaling properties of MAPKs (ultrasensitivity, hysteresis, digital response), and the presence of different positive feedback loops in apoptosis. We provide a simple guide to predict MAPKs’ behavior, based on the intensity and duration of the stimulus. Finally, we consider the role of MAPKs in osmostress-induced apoptosis by using Xenopus oocytes as a cell model. As we will see, apoptosis is plagued with multiple positive feedback loops. We hope this review will help to understand how MAPK signaling pathways engage irreversible cellular decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Function of Stress Protein Kinases in Cell Death and Meiosis)
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