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Failure of neural tube closure during embryonic development can result in anencephaly, one of the most common birth defects in humans. A family with recurrent anencephalic fetuses was investigated to understand its etiology and pathogenesis. Exome sequencing revealed a recessive germline 21-bp in-frame deletion in NUAK2 segregating with the disease. In vitro kinase assays demonstrated that the 7–amino acid truncation in NUAK2, a serine/threonine kinase, completely abrogated its catalyticdoi:10.1084/jem.20191561 pmid:32845958 fatcat:mtskdq77wvhcrhaeyb5ror7pqi