In previous years, several kinases, such as phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK), have been linked to important human diseases, although some kinase families remain neglected in terms of research, hiding their relevance to therapeutic approaches. Here, a review regarding the NEK family is presented, shedding light on important information related to NEKs and human diseases. NEKs are a large group of homologous kinases with related functions and structures that participate in several cellular processes such as the cell cycle, cell division, cilia formation, and the DNA damage response. The review of the literature points to the pivotal participation of NEKs in important human diseases, like different types of cancer, diabetes, ciliopathies and central nervous system related and inflammatory-related diseases. The different known regulatory molecular mechanisms specific to each NEK are also presented, relating to their involvement in different diseases. In addition, important information about NEKs remains to be elucidated and is highlighted in this review, showing the need for other studies and research regarding this kinase family. Therefore, the NEK family represents an important group of kinases with potential applications in the therapy of human diseases.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited