Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 339–348 | Cite as

Arabidopsis AtNek2 Kinase is Essential and Associates with Microtubules

  • Francesco Agueci
  • Twan Rutten
  • Dmitri Demidov
  • Andreas Houben


NIMA-related kinases (Neks) are a large family of serine/threonine kinases that have been linked to cell-cycle regulation in fungi and mammals. Large families of NIMA-related kinases are also conserved in plants. We demonstrate that AtNek2, a member of the NIMA-related kinase family in Arabidopsis, is a gene fundamental for plant survival and its down-regulation has a pleiotropic effect on leaf cell morphogenesis and plant development. Intracellular localization of YFP::AtNek2 showed that AtNek2 proteins co-distribute with the microtubular cytoskeleton. As a microtubular-associated protein AtNek2 might influence the dynamics of microtubules and consequently cell morphogenesis. This is supported by the observation that misexpression of AtNek2 in RNAi mutants leads to a distorted organization of cells.


NIMA kinase Microtubules Histone H3 Cell morphogenesis 



We are grateful to O. Weiß und K. Kumke for technical assistance. This work was supported by the Land Sachsen-Anhalt and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, SFB 648).

Supplementary material

11105_2011_342_MOESM1_ESM.tif (1 mb)
Fig. S1 Semiquantitative expression analysis of AtNek2 RNAi plants. RT-PCR performed on cDNA transcribed from wild type (WT) and AtNek2 RNAi down-regulated plants (1–4). Reactions were performed using a AtNek2 specific primers (forward 5′-ACCTTGGTCAACTTCCTGTTTC-3′; reverse 5′- ACCAAATAAGCACCAAAATAGAAT-3′), b AtNek 3 primers (forward 5′- GTCCGAGAGACGAAAGTATGTGG -3′; reverse 5′- CAAAGTCACCTAACCGAACCTCG -3′) and c and elongation factor 1B alpha-subunit primers (forward 5′-AAACCTACATCTCCGGGATCAATT-3′; reverse 5′-ACAGAAGACTTTCCACTCTCTTTAG-3′). Expression of AtNek 2 amplicons is much lower in RNAi plants (1–4) in comparison with wild type. In contrast, a comparable amount of amplicons was obtained in all samples using AtNek 3 and elongation factor primers. (TIFF 1027 kb)
11105_2011_342_Fig8_ESM.jpg (24 kb)

High resolution image (JPEG 24 kb)

11105_2011_342_MOESM2_ESM.doc (64 kb)
Fig. S2 Comparison of leaf development between AtNek2 and wild type plants. Data plots based on the counting of a stomata and b trichomes per square millimeter in epidermal cells of wild type and AtNek2 RNAi plants (1–4). Statistical analysis of c stomata and d trichome counting in wild type and AtNek2 RNAi seedlings. The t-test for both data set is higher than the value at P = 0.01%, rejecting the null hypothesis. (DOC 64.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Agueci
    • 1
  • Twan Rutten
    • 1
  • Dmitri Demidov
    • 1
  • Andreas Houben
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)GaterslebenGermany

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