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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of the Nef- associated kinase as p21-activated kinase 2.

The Nef protein of primate immunodeficiency viruses plays an important role in the pathogenesis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) [1] [2]. The interaction of Nef with the Nef- associated kinase ( NAK) is one of the most conserved properties of different human and simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV and SIV) Nef alleles. The role of NAK association is currently not known but it has been implicated in enhanced viral infectivity in cell culture and in disease progression in SIV-infected macaques [3]. Previous studies have indicated that NAK shares many features with the p21-activated kinases (PAKs) [3], but the molecular identity of NAK has remained unknown. We have generated specific antisera against PAKs 1-3, and expressed these kinases individually as epitope-tagged proteins. By using these reagents in experiments involving partial proteolytic mapping, and exploiting the unique ability of PAK2 to serve as a caspase substrate, we have positively identified NAK as PAK2. Interestingly, although ectopic PAK2 overexpression efficiently replaced endogenous PAK2 from the complex with Nef, the total Nef- associated PAK2 activity was not increased, indicating the abundance of another cellular factor(s) as the limiting factor in Nef-PAK2 complex formation. Identification of NAK as PAK2 should now facilitate elucidation of its role as a mediator of the pathogenic effects of Nef.[1]


  1. Identification of the Nef-associated kinase as p21-activated kinase 2. Renkema, G.H., Manninen, A., Mann, D.A., Harris, M., Saksela, K. Curr. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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