The WNK kinases are a recently discovered family of serine-threonine kinases that have been shown to play an essential role in the regulation of electrolyte homeostasis. Intronic deletions in the WNK1 gene result in its overexpression and lead to pseudohypoaldosteronism type II, a disease with salt-sensitive hypertension and hyperkalemia. This review focuses on the recent evidence elucidating the structure of the kinase domain of WNK1 and functions of these kinases in normal and disease physiology. Their functions have implications for understanding the biochemical mechanism that could lead to the retention or insertion of proteins in the plasma membrane. The WNK kinases may be able to influence ion homeostasis through its effects on synaptotagmin function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology