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Examining the cell biology of the NIMA-related kinases

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
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The NIMA-related kinases are the least well characterised of the so-called cell cycle kinases. Mounting evidence suggests some members of the family have roles in centrosome splitting, chromosome segregation, DNA damage response and regulation of cilia. Other members of the family are implicated in cystic kidney diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome and cancer. In this thesis I addressed specific questions related to three Neks: (i) NEK8 due to its role in cystic kidney diseases (ii) NEK4 because of its unusual sub-cellular localisation and (iii) CNK6 a potential link between cilia and the cell cycle. I developed the tools necessary for the identification of NEK8 substrates. I showed NEK4 localises to the distal end of the mother centriole. Neither kinase activity, nor the phosphorylation state of thr526 are necessary for this localisation. CNK6, initially identified in the flagellar proteome, does not localise to flagella and may be essential for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii survival.
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