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Cell Signal. 2011 Dec;23(12):2030-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2011.07.017. Epub 2011 Aug 5.

Bcl-xL phosphorylation at Ser49 by polo kinase 3 during cell cycle progression and checkpoints.

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  • 1Centre de recherche, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Hôpital Notre-Dame and Institut du cancer de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Functional analysis of a Bcl-xL phosphorylation mutant series has revealed that cells expressing Bcl-xL(Ser49Ala) mutant are less stable at G2 checkpoint after DNA damage and enter cytokinesis more slowly after microtubule poisoning, than cells expressing wild-type Bcl-xL. These effects of Bcl-xL(Ser49Ala) mutant seem to be separable from Bcl-xL function in apoptosis. Bcl-xL(Ser49) phosphorylation is cell cycle-dependent. In synchronized cells, phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser49) appears during the S phase and G2, whereas it disappears rapidly in early mitosis during prometaphase, metaphase and early anaphase, and re-appears during telophase and cytokinesis. During DNA damage-induced G2 arrest, an important pool of phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser49) accumulates in centrosomes which act as essential decision centers for progression from G2 to mitosis. During telophase/cytokinesis, phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser49) is found with dynein motor protein. In a series of in vitro kinase assays, specific small interfering RNA and pharmacological inhibition experiments, polo kinase 3 (PLK3) was implicated in Bcl-xL(Ser49) phosphorylation. These data indicate that, during G2 checkpoint, phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser49) is another downstream target of PLK3, acting to stabilize G2 arrest. Bcl-xL phosphorylation at Ser49 also correlates with essential PLK3 activity and function, enabling cytokinesis and mitotic exit.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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