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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jun 12;284(24):16501-12. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M900257200. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Cdk1-cyclin B1-mediated phosphorylation of tumor-associated microtubule-associated protein/cytoskeleton-associated protein 2 in mitosis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 300 Chunchundong, Jangangu, Suwon 440-769, Republic of Korea.


During mitosis, establishment of structurally and functionally sound bipolar spindles is necessary for maintaining the fidelity of chromosome segregation. Tumor-associated microtubule-associated protein (TMAP), also known as cytoskeleton-associated protein 2 (CKAP2), is a mitotic spindle-associated protein whose level is frequently up-regulated in various malignancies. Previous reports have suggested that TMAP is a potential regulator of mitotic spindle assembly and dynamics and that it is required for chromosome segregation to occur properly. So far, there have been no reports on how its mitosis-related functions are regulated. Here, we report that TMAP is hyper-phosphorylated at the C terminus specifically during mitosis. At least four different residues (Thr-578, Thr-596, Thr-622, and Ser-627) were responsible for the mitosis-specific phosphorylation of TMAP. Among these, Thr-622 was specifically phosphorylated by Cdk1-cyclin B1 both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, compared with the wild type, a phosphorylation-deficient mutant form of TMAP, in which Thr-622 had been replaced with an alanine (T622A), induced a significant increase in the frequency of metaphase cells with abnormal bipolar spindles, which often displayed disorganized, asymmetrical, or narrow and elongated morphologies. Formation of these abnormal bipolar spindles subsequently resulted in misalignment of metaphase chromosomes and ultimately caused a delay in the entry into anaphase. Moreover, such defects resulting from the T622A mutation were associated with a decrease in the rate of protein turnover at spindle microtubules. These findings suggest that Cdk1-cyclin B1-mediated phosphorylation of TMAP is important for and contributes to proper regulation of microtubule dynamics and establishment of functional bipolar spindles during mitosis.

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