Live cell imaging reveals distinct roles in cell cycle regulation for Nek2A and Nek2B

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Jun 30;1744(2):89-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2005.01.007. Epub 2005 Feb 17.


Two splice variants of Nek2 kinase, a member of the NIMA-related family, have been identified as Nek2A and Nek2B. Nek2A regulates centrosome disjunction, spindle formation checkpoint signaling, and faithful chromosome segregation. A specific role for Nek2B has not yet been identified. Here, we have examined the distinct roles of Nek2A and Nek2B using timelapse video microscopy to follow the fate of cells progressing through the cell cycle in the absence of either Nek2A or Nek2B. We show that the down-regulation of Nek2B leads to a mitotic delay in the majority of cells. Upon exiting mitosis, cells exhibit mitotic defects such as the formation of multinucleated cells. Such phenotypes are not observed in cells that exit mitosis in the absence of Nek2A. These observations suggest that Nek2B may be required for the execution of mitotic exit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Centrosome / physiology
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Molecular Weight
  • NIMA-Related Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • NEK2 protein, human
  • NIMA-Related Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases