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Cell Div. 2008 Jan 23;3:4. doi: 10.1186/1747-1028-3-4.

Self-regulated mechanism of Plk1 localization to kinetochores: lessons from the Plk1-PBIP1 interaction.

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  • 1Laboratory of Metabolism, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Mammalian polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) has been studied extensively as a critical element in regulating various mitotic events during M-phase progression. Plk1 function is spatially regulated through the targeting activity of the conserved polo-box domain (PBD) present in the C-terminal non-catalytic region. Recent progress in our understanding of Plk1 localization to the centromeres shows that Plk1 self-regulates its initial recruitment by phosphorylating a centromeric component PBIP1 and generating its own PBD-binding site. Paradoxically, Plk1 also induces PBIP1 delocalization and degradation from the mitotic kinetochores late in the cell cycle, consequently permitting itself to bind to other kinetochore components. Thus, PBIP1-dependent self-recruitment of Plk1 to the interphase centromeres serves as a prelude to the efficient delivery of Plk1 itself to other kinetochore components whose interactions with Plk1 are vital for proper mitotic progression.

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