SB203580 is a p38 MAPK inhibitor that has been implicated in the activation of c-Raf. This study shows that the addition of SB203580 to PC12 cells causes the sustained activation of B-Raf but not of ERK. The addition of SB203580 prolonged the transient activation of both B-Raf and ERK by EGF alone. No significant change was detected in MAPKAPK-2 activity at low concentrations of SB203580, which induced neurite outgrowth in the EGF-stimulated PC12 cells. Therefore, these results indicate that SB203580 influences not only c-Raf as previously reported, but can also induce the activation of B-Raf, which in conjunction with EGF causes the sustained activation of ERK and differentiation in PC12 cells.