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A highly conserved family of protein kinases (dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases) with at least seven mammalian isoforms that autophosphorylate a tyrosine residue in their activation loop but phosphorylate exogenous substrates on serine/threonine residues. The closest relative of Dyrk1 in Drosophila is the minibrain (mnb) gene that has a role in postembryonic neurogenesis. Human Dyrk1A maps to the Down's syndrome critical region on chromosome 21 and may be involved in pathogenesis of certain phenotypes of Down's syndrome. Dyrk2 shares 46% identity with dyrk1 but is on chromosome 12 and regulates p53 to induce apoptosis in response to DNA damage. It may also phosphorylate NFAT, thereby keeping it in the cytoplasmic compartment. Dyrk3, the product of a gene on chromosome 1, is very similar to Dyrk2 but expressed mostly in testis.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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