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Eur J Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;91(9):675-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 May 19.

Nek2 localises to the distal portion of the mother centriole/basal body and is required for timely cilium disassembly at the G2/M transition.

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  • 1Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton, UK.


The NIMA-related kinase Nek2 promotes centrosome separation at the G2/M transition and, consistent with this role, is known to be concentrated at the proximal ends of centrioles. Here, we show by immunofluorescence microscopy that Nek2 also localises to the distal portion of the mother centriole. Its accumulation at this site is cell cycle-dependent and appears to peak in late G2. These findings are consistent with previous data implicating Nek2 in promoting reorganisation of centrosome-anchored microtubules at the G2/M transition, given that microtubules are anchored at the subdistal appendages of the mother centriole in interphase. In addition, we report that siRNA-mediated depletion of Nek2 compromises the ability of cells to resorb primary cilia before the onset of mitosis, while overexpression of catalytically active Nek2A reduces ciliation and cilium length in serum-starved cells. Based on these findings, we propose that Nek2 has a role in promoting cilium disassembly at the onset of mitosis. We also present evidence that recruitment of Nek2 to the proximal ends of centrioles is dependent on one of its substrates, the centrosome cohesion protein C-Nap1.

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