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Dev Cell. 2004 Feb;6(2):253-68.

Aurora B regulates MCAK at the mitotic centromere.

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Division of Gene Regulation and Expression, Wellcome Trust Biocentre, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, United Kingdom.


Chromosome orientation and alignment within the mitotic spindle requires the Aurora B protein kinase and the mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK). Here, we report the regulation of MCAK by Aurora B. Aurora B inhibited MCAK's microtubule depolymerizing activity in vitro, and phospho-mimic (S/E) mutants of MCAK inhibited depolymerization in vivo. Expression of either MCAK (S/E) or MCAK (S/A) mutants increased the frequency of syntelic microtubule-kinetochore attachments and mono-oriented chromosomes. MCAK phosphorylation also regulates MCAK localization: the MCAK (S/E) mutant frequently localized to the inner centromere while the (S/A) mutant concentrated at kinetochores. We also detected two different binding sites for MCAK using FRAP analysis of the different MCAK mutants. Moreover, disruption of Aurora B function by expression of a kinase-dead mutant or RNAi prevented centromeric targeting of MCAK. These results link Aurora B activity to MCAK function, with Aurora B regulating MCAK's activity and its localization at the centromere and kinetochore.

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