The non-catalytic region of tyrosine kinase (Nck) family of adaptors, consisting of Nck1 and Nck2, contributes to selectivity and specificity in the flow of cellular information by recruiting components of signaling networks. Known to play key roles in cytoskeletal remodeling, Nck adaptors modulate host cell–pathogen interactions, immune cell receptor activation, cell adhesion and motility, and intercellular junctions in kidney podocytes. Genetic inactivation of both members of the Nck family results in embryonic lethality; however, viability of mice lacking either one of these adaptors suggests partial functional redundancy. In this Cell Science at a Glance and the accompanying poster, we highlight the molecular organization and functions of the Nck family, focusing on key interactions and pathways, regulation of cellular processes, development, homeostasis and pathogenesis, as well as emerging and non-redundant functions of Nck1 compared to those of Nck2. This article thus aims to provide a timely perspective on the biology of Nck adaptors and their potential as therapeutic targets.

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