Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2001 Mar 20;11(6):441-6.

Late mitotic failure in mice lacking Sak, a polo-like kinase.

Author information

Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, M5G 1X5, Ontario, Canada.


Polo-like kinases in yeast, flies, and mammals regulate key events in mitosis. Such events include spindle formation at G2/M, the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) at the exit from mitosis, the cleavage structure at cytokinesis, and DNA damage checkpoints in G2/M. Polo-like kinases are distinguished by two C-terminal polo box (pb) motifs, which localize the enzymes to mitotic structures. We previously identified Sak, a novel polo-like kinase found in Drosophila and mammals. Here, we demonstrate that the Sak kinase has a functional pb domain that localizes the enzyme to the nucleolus during G2, to the centrosomes in G2/M, and to the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. To study the role of Sak in embryo development, we generated a Sak null allele, the first polo-like kinase to be mutated in mice. Sak(-/-) embryos arrested after gastrulation at E7.5, with a marked increase in mitotic and apoptotic cells. Sak(-/-) embryos displayed cells in late anaphase or telophase that continued to express cyclin B1 and phosphorylated histone H3. Our results suggest that Sak is required for the APC-dependent destruction of cyclin B1 and for exit from mitosis in the postgastrulation embryo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center