Background: NUAK1 and NUAK2, members of the AMP-activated protein kinase family of serine/threonine kinases, are prominently expressed in neuroectoderm, but their functions in neurulation have not been elucidated. Results: NUAK1 and NUAK2 double mutants exhibited exencephaly, facial clefting, and spina bifida. Median hinge point was formed, but dorsolateral hinge point formation was not apparent in cranial neural plate; neither apical constriction nor apico-basal elongation took place efficiently in the double mutants during the 5–10-somite stages. Concomitantly, the apical concentration of phosphorylated myosin light chain 2, F-actin, and cortactin was insignificant, and development of acetylated α-tubulin-positive microtubules was poor. However, the distribution of F-actin, cortactin, Shroom3, Rho, myosin heavy chain IIB, phosphorylated myosin light chain 2, α-tubulin, γ-tubulin, or acetylated α-tubulin was apparently normal in the double mutant neuroepithelia at the 5-somite stage. Conclusions: NUAK1 and NUAK2 complementarily function in the apical constriction and apico-basal elongation that associate with the dorsolateral hinge point formation in cephalic neural plate during the 5- to 10-somite stages. In the double mutant neural plate, phosphorylated myosin light chain 2, F-actin, and cortactin did not concentrate efficiently in apical surfaces, and acetylated α-tubulin-positive microtubules did not develop significantly. Developmental Dynamics 241:1350–1364, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.