Exp Mol Med.  2007 Oct;39(5):565-573.

WNKs: protein kinases with a unique kinase domain

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas 75390, USA. chou-long.huang@utsouthwestern.edu
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.

Abstract

WNKs (with-no-lysine [K]) are a family of serine-threonine protein kinases with an atypical placement of the catalytic lysine relative to all other protein kinases. The roles of WNK kinases in regulating ion transport were first revealed by the findings that mutations of two members cause a genetic hypertension and hyperkalemia syndrome. More recent studies suggest that WNKs are pleiotropic protein kinases with important roles in many cell processes in addition to ion transport. Here, we review roles of WNK kinases in the regulation of ion balance, cell signaling, survival, and proliferation, and embryonic organ development.

Keyword

genome, human; hyperkalemia; hypertension; neoplasms; protein kinases; pseudohypoaldosteronisms; WNK1 protein, human
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