IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: NEK6-subfamily protein kinase

Reaction: ATP + a [protein]-(L-serine/L-threonine) = ADP + a [protein]-(L-serine/L-threonine) phosphate

Other name(s): NEK6; NEK7; nekl-3

Comments: Requires Mg2+. NEK6 subfamily kinases are present in animals, though lost in insects, and include human NEK6 and NEK7 and C. elegans nekl-3. They are activated in mitosis by phosphorylation by NEK9 [1], and phosphorylate cytoskeletal proteins including EML4, KIF11A and KIF14 [4,2]. In C. elegans, nekl-3 is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis [5]. In peptide arrays, NEK6 prefers to phosphorylate Ser residues, with hydrophobic residues at -2 and +1 and charged residues at -1, -2 and +2 [3].

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MetaCyc, CAS registry number:


1. Belham, C., Roig, J., Caldwell, J.A., Aoyama, Y., Kemp, B.E., Comb, M. and Avruch, J. A mitotic cascade of NIMA family kinases. Nercc1/Nek9 activates the Nek6 and Nek7 kinases. J. Biol. Chem. 278 (2003) 34897-34909. [PMID: 12840024]

2. Cullati, S.N., Kabeche, L., Kettenbach, A.N. and Gerber, S.A. A bifurcated signaling cascade of NIMA-related kinases controls distinct kinesins in anaphase. J. Cell Biol. 216 (2017) 2339-2354. [PMID: 28630147]

3. van de Kooij, B., Creixell, P., van Vlimmeren, A., Joughin, B.A., Miller, C.J., Haider, N., Simpson, C.D., Linding, R., Stambolic, V., Turk, B.E. and Yaffe, M.B. Comprehensive substrate specificity profiling of the human Nek kinome reveals unexpected signaling outputs. Elife 8 (2019) . [PMID: 31124786]

4. Adib, R., Montgomery, J.M., Atherton, J., O'Regan, L., Richards, M.W., Straatman, K.R., Roth, D., Straube, A., Bayliss, R., Moores, C.A. and Fry, A.M. Mitotic phosphorylation by NEK6 and NEK7 reduces the microtubule affinity of EML4 to promote chromosome congression. Sci Signal 12 (2019) . [PMID: 31409757]

5. Joseph, B.B., Wang, Y., Edeen, P., Lazetic, V., Grant, B.D. and Fay, D.S. Control of clathrin-mediated endocytosis by NIMA family kinases. PLoS Genet. 16 (2020) e1008633. [PMID: 32069276]

[EC created 2022]

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