p21-activated protein kinases (Paks) are cytosolic serine/threonine protein kinases that act as effectors for small (p21) GTPases of the Cdc42 and Rac families. It has long been established that Paks play a major role in a host of vital cellular functions such as proliferation, survival and motility, and abnormal Pak function is associated with a number of human diseases. Here, we discuss emerging evidence that these enzymes also play a major role in the entry, replication and spread of many important pathogenic human viruses, including HIV. Careful assessment of the potential role of Paks in antiviral immunity will be pivotal to evaluate thoroughly the potential of agents that inhibit Pak as a new class of anti-viral therapeutics.
Trends in Cell Biology, 2010, Vol 20, Issue 3, p. 160-9