BRSK2 is a brain-selective serine/threonine kinase 2 that is mainly expressed in the brain, with weaker expression in testis and pancreas. BRSK2 expressed in insect cells specifically phosphorylates WEE1A, CDC25C and CDC25B in an in vitro assay. DNA damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation or methyl methane sulfonate, but not by ionizing radiation, enhanced endogenous BRSK2 kinase activity in a caffeine-sensitive manner and caused translocation of BRSK2 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Overexpression of BRSK2 induces G2/M arrest in HeLa cells while small interfering RNA against BRSK2 partly abrogated UV-induced G2/M arrest. Mammalian BRSK2 kinases are required for neuronal polarization. Recombinant full-length human BRSK2 was expressed by baculovirus in Sf9 insect cells using an N-terminal GST tag.
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