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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jan;1784(1):3-15. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

Mammalian NDR protein kinases: from regulation to a role in centrosome duplication.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, CH-4058, Basel, Switzerland.


The NDR (nuclear Dbf2-related) family of kinases is highly conserved from yeast to human, and has been classified as a subgroup of the AGC group of protein kinases based on the sequence of the catalytic domain. Like all other members of the AGC class of protein kinases, NDR kinases require the phosphorylation of conserved Ser/Thr residues for activation. Importantly, NDR family members have two unique stretches of primary sequence: an N-terminal regulatory (NTR) domain and an insert of several residues between subdomains VII and VIII of the kinase domain. The kinase domain insert functions as an auto-inhibitory sequence (AIS), while binding of the co-activator MOB (Mps-one binder) proteins to the NTR domain releases NDR kinases from inhibition of autophosphorylation. However, despite such advances in our understanding of the molecular activation mechanism(s) and physiological functions of NDR kinases in yeast and invertebrates, most biological NDR substrates still remain to be identified. Nevertheless, by showing that the centrosomal subpopulation of human NDR1/2 is required for proper centrosome duplication, the first biological role of human NDR1/2 kinases has been defined recently. How far NDR-driven centrosome overduplication could actually contribute to cellular transformation will also be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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