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Nat Commun. 2012 Jan 17;3:626. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1634.

ABL1 regulates spindle orientation in adherent cells and mammalian skin.

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Department of Cell Biology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Despite the growing evidence for the regulated spindle orientation in mammals, a systematic approach for identifying the responsible genes in mammalian cells has not been established. Here we perform a kinase-targeting RNAi screen in HeLa cells and identify ABL1 as a novel regulator of spindle orientation. Knockdown of ABL1 causes the cortical accumulation of Leu-Gly-Asn repeat-enriched-protein (LGN), an evolutionarily conserved regulator of spindle orientation. This results in the LGN-dependent spindle rotation and spindle misorientation. In vivo inactivation of ABL1 by a pharmacological inhibitor or by ablation of the abl1 gene causes spindle misorientation and LGN mislocalization in mouse epidermis. Furthermore, ABL1 directly phosphorylates NuMA, a binding partner of LGN, on tyrosine 1774. This phosphorylation maintains the cortical localization of NuMA during metaphase, and ensures the LGN/NuMA-dependent spindle orientation control. This study provides a novel approach to identify genes regulating spindle orientation in mammals and uncovers new signalling pathways for this mechanism.

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