Never say never. The NIMA-related protein kinases in mitotic control

Matthew J. O'Connell, Michael J.E. Krien, Tony Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Mitosis sees a massive reorganization of cellular architecture. The microtubule cytoskeleton is reorganized to form a bipolar spindle between duplicated microtubule organizing centers, the chromosomes are condensed, attached to the spindle at their kinetochores, and, through the action of multiple molecular motors, the chromosomes are segregated into two daughter cells. Mitosis also sees a substantial wave of protein phosphorylation, controlling signaling events that coordinate mitotic processes and ensure accurate chromosome segregation. The key switch for the onset of mitosis is the archetypal cyclin-dependent kinase, Cdc2. Under the direction of Cdc2 is an executive of protein serine/threonine kinases that fall into three families: the Polo kinases, Aurora kinases and the NIMA-related kinases (Nrk). The latter family has proven the most enigmatic in function, although recent advances from several sources are beginning to reveal a common functional theme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2003


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