Only one nemo-like kinase gene homologue in invertebrate and mammalian genomes

Gene. 2001 Oct 31;278(1-2):161-5. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(01)00710-7.


The nemo-like kinase (Nlk) connects the MAP kinase and Wnt signalling pathways. We have found that invertebrate (Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster) and mammalian genomes (Mus musculus and Homo sapiens) each contain only a single functional Nlk gene. The mouse genome also harbours a transcriptionally silent processed Nlk pseudogene residing on chromosome 2. Thus, while genes encoding upstream (such as Wnts and frizzelds) and downstream (such as TCF/LEF) components of the Wnt signalling pathway have been extensively diversified during evolution, genes encoding components of the common core of the connecting signalling structure (such as beta-catenin, GSK beta and Nlk) have been maintained in single copies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Pseudogenes / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Protein Isoforms
  • DNA
  • Nlk protein, mouse
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases