We have developed a novel expression screening method for identifying protein kinase substrates. In this method, a lambda phage cDNA expression library is screened by in situ, solid-phase phosphorylation using purified protein kinase and [gamma-32P]ATP. Screening a HeLa cDNA library with ERK1 MAP kinase yielded cDNAs of previously characterized ERK substrates, c-Myc and p90RSK, demonstrating the utility of this method for identifying physiological protein kinase substrates. A novel clone isolated in this screen, designated MNK1, encodes a protein-serine/threonine kinase, which is most similar to MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAP-K2), 3pK/MAPKAP-K3 and p90RSK. Bacterially expressed MNK1 was phosphorylated and activated in vitro by ERK1 and p38 MAP kinases but not by JNK/SAPK. Further, MNK1 was activated upon stimulation of HeLa cells with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, fetal calf serum, anisomycin, UV irradiation, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta, or osmotic shock, and the activation by these stimuli was differentially inhibited by the MEK inhibitor PD098059 or the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB202190. Together, these results indicate that MNK1 is a novel class of protein kinase that is activated through both the ERK and p38 MAP kinase signaling pathways.