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Cell Res. 2007 Jul;17(7):608-18.

Phosphorylation of human Sgo1 by NEK2A is essential for chromosome congression in mitosis.

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Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics, Hefei National Laboratory, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei, China.


Chromosome segregation in mitosis is orchestrated by the interaction of the kinetochore with spindle microtubules. Our recent study shows that NEK2A interacts with MAD1 at the kinetochore and possibly functions as a novel integrator of spindle checkpoint signaling. However, it is unclear how NEK2A regulates kinetochore-microtubule attachment in mitosis. Here we show that NEK2A phosphorylates human Sgo1 and such phosphorylation is essential for faithful chromosome congression in mitosis. NEK2A binds directly to HsSgo1 in vitro and co-distributes with HsSgo1 to the kinetochore of mitotic cells. Our in vitro phosphorylation experiment demonstrated that HsSgo1 is a substrate of NEK2A and the phosphorylation sites were mapped to Ser(14) and Ser(507) as judged by the incorporation of (32)P. Although such phosphorylation is not required for assembly of HsSgo1 to the kinetochore, expression of non-phosphorylatable mutant HsSgo1 perturbed chromosome congression and resulted in a dramatic increase in microtubule attachment errors, including syntelic and monotelic attachments. These findings reveal a key role for the NEK2A-mediated phosphorylation of HsSgo1 in orchestrating dynamic kinetochore-microtubule interaction. We propose that NEK2A-mediated phosphorylation of human Sgo1 provides a link between centromeric cohesion and spindle microtubule attachment at the kinetochores.

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