Apoptosis is mediated by death domain containing adapter molecules and a caspase family of proteases. Certain serine/threonine protein kinases, such as ASK-1 and RIP, are mediators of apoptosis. Two novel serine/threonine kinases that induce apoptosis were recently identified and designated DRAK1 and DRAK2 (for DAP kinase-related apoptosis-inducing protein kinases). DRAKs contain an N-terminal kinase domain and a C-terminal regulation domain. Overexpression of DRAK2 induces apoptosis. DRAKs have high sequence homology to DAP and ZIP kinases, and they represent a novel family of serine/threonine kinases, which mediates apoptosis through their catalytic activities. DRAK2 is located in nucleus and the messenger RNA was ubiquitously expressed in human tissues.
DAP kinase-related apoptosis-inducing protein kinase 2; death-associated protein kinase-related 2; DRAK2; Serine/threonine-protein kinase 17B