The family of Ste20-related kinases is conserved from yeast to mammals and includes the p21 activated kinases (PAKs) and germinal centre kinases (GCKs). These kinases have been shown to be involved in signaling through mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways and in morphogenesis through the regulation of cytokinesis and actin-dependent polarized growth. This review concentrates on the role of Ste20-related kinases in fungi where recent research has revealed roles for both PAKs and GCKs in the regulation of cytokinesis and in previously unidentified roles in promoting hyphal growth and differentiation of asexual development structures. In particular, the importance of PAKs during pathogenesis will be examined. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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