The 90 kDa ribosomal s6 kinases (RSKs) are a group of serine/threonine kinases consisting of 4 RSK isoforms (RSK1-4), of which RSK1 is also designated as p90RSK. p90RSK plays an important role in the Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling cascade and is the direct downstream effector of Ras-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) signalling. ERK1/2 activation directly phosphorylates and activates p90RSK, which, in turn, activates various signalling events through selection of different phosphorylation substrates. Upregulation of p90RSK has been reported in numerous human diseases. p90RSK plays an important role in the regulation of diverse cellular processes. Thus, aberrant activation of p90RSK plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of organ dysfunction and damage. In this review, we focus on the current understanding of p90RSK functions and roles in the development and progression of kidney diseases. Roles of p90RSK, as well as other RSKs, in cardiovascular disorders and cancers are also discussed.
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