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The Never in mitosis gene A (NIMA) family of serine/threonine kinases is a diverse group of protein kinases implicated in a wide variety of cellular processes, including cilia regulation, microtubule dynamics, mitotic processes, cell growth, and DNA damage response. The founding member of this family was initially identified in Aspergillus and was found to play important roles in mitosis and cell division. The yeast family has one member each, Fin1p in fission yeast and Kin3p in budding yeast, also with functions in mitotic processes, but, overall, these are poorly studied kinases. The mammalian family, the main focus of this review, consists of 11 members named Nek1 to Nek11. With the exception of a few members, the functions of the mammalian Neks are poorly understood but appear to be quite diverse. Like the prototypical NIMA, many members appear to play important roles in mitosis and meiosis, but their functions in the cell go well beyond these well-established activities. In this review, we explore the roles of fungal and mammalian NIMA kinases and highlight the most recent findings in the field.


Scott Bachus, Drayson Graves, Lauren Fulham, Nikolas Akkerman, Caelan Stephanson, Jessica Shieh, Peter Pelka. In Mitosis You Are Not: The NIMA Family of Kinases in Aspergillus, Yeast, and Mammals. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Apr 06;23(7)

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PMID: 35409400

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