Fray is a serine/threonine kinase expressed by the peripheral glia of Drosophila, whose function is required for normal axonal ensheathment. Null fray mutants die early in larval development and have nerves with severe swelling and axonal defasciculation. The phenotype is associated with a failure of the ensheathing glia to correctly wrap peripheral axons. When the fray cDNA is expressed in the ensheathing glia of fray mutants, normal nerve morphology is restored. Fray belongs to a novel family of Ser/Thr kinases, the PF kinases, whose closest relatives are the PAK kinases. Rescue of the Drosophila mutant phenotype with PASK, the rat homolog of Fray, demonstrates a functional homology among these proteins and suggests that the Fray signaling pathway is widely conserved.