MAP3K7A gene on chromosome 6q15 that encodes a MAPK kinase kinase belonging to a protein kinase signal transduction cascade. MAP3K7 plays a key role in the cascades of cellular responses triggered by environmental changes, as well as ceramides. It mediates signal transduction of TRAF6; various cytokines, including IL1; transforming growth factor-beta (TGFB), and TGFB-related factors like BMP2 and BMP4; toll-like receptors (TLR); tumour necrosis factor receptor CD40; and B-cell receptor (BCR). Once activated, MAP3K7 acts as an upstream activator of the JNK and the P38 signal transduction cascades by phosphorylating and activating several MAP kinase kinases.
Each mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a conserved cascade of three protein kinases: an activated MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK) phosphorylates and activates a specific MAPK kinase (MAPKK), which in turn activates a specific MAPK.