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Biochem J. 2005 Oct 15;391(Pt 2):177-84.

NuMA is a major acceptor of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation by tankyrase 1 in mitosis.

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Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 540 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Tankyrase 1 is a PARP [poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase] that localizes to multiple subcellular sites, including telomeres and mitotic centrosomes. Previous studies demonstrated that cells deficient in tankyrase 1 suffered a block in resolution of sister telomeres and arrested in early anaphase [Dynek and Smith (2004) Science 304, 97-100]. This phenotype was dependent on the catalytic PARP activity of tankyrase 1. To identify critical acceptors of PARsylation [poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation] by tankyrase 1 in mitosis, tankyrase 1 immunoprecipitates were analysed for associated PARsylated proteins. We identified NuMA (nuclear mitotic apparatus protein) as a major acceptor of poly(ADP-ribose) from tankyrase 1 in mitosis. We showed by immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation that association between tankyrase 1 and NuMA increases dramatically at the onset of mitosis, concomitant with PARsylation of NuMA. Knockdown of tankyrase 1 by siRNA (small interfering RNA) eliminates PARsylation of NuMA in mitosis, confirming tankyrase 1 as the PARP responsible for this modification. However, even in the absence of tankyrase 1 and PARsylation, NuMA localizes to spindle poles. By contrast, siRNA knockdown of NuMA results in complete loss of tankyrase 1 from spindle poles. We discuss our result in terms of a model where PARsylation of NuMA by tankyrase 1 in mitosis could play a role in sister telomere separation and/or mitotic progression.

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