Mammalian cells respond to external stimuli by activation of a variety of signal transduction pathways which culminate in stereotypical responses important in renal disease, such as proliferation, growth arrest, hypertrophy, differentiation, or apoptosis. A set of intracellular signalling events occurs ultimately leading to the transcription of genes whose encoded proteins mediate the response. In vertebrates many of the stimuli which result in these important cellular responses initiate intracellular signalling events which converge on a set of cellular kinase cascades which are collectively called the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascades. There are three families of MAP kinases that have been identified in mammalian cells. These kinase pathways as well as other cellular signalling pathways are critically important for the regulation of transcriptional events. In this review, we will discuss recently published information on how MAP kinases and transcription factors regulated by these kinases may be implicated in renal injury and repair.