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  • Cdk1 phosphorylates the Rac activator Tiam1 to activate centrosomal Pak and promote mitotic spindle formation.

Cdk1 phosphorylates the Rac activator Tiam1 to activate centrosomal Pak and promote mitotic spindle formation.

Nature communications (2015-06-17)
Helen J Whalley, Andrew P Porter, Zoi Diamantopoulou, Gavin R M White, Eduardo Castañeda-Saucedo, Angeliki Malliri
ABSTRACT

Centrosome separation is critical for bipolar spindle formation and the accurate segregation of chromosomes during mammalian cell mitosis. Kinesin-5 (Eg5) is a microtubule motor essential for centrosome separation, and Tiam1 and its substrate Rac antagonize Eg5-dependent centrosome separation in early mitosis promoting efficient chromosome congression. Here we identify S1466 of Tiam1 as a novel Cdk1 site whose phosphorylation is required for the mitotic function of Tiam1. We find that this phosphorylation of Tiam1 is required for the activation of group I p21-activated kinases (Paks) on centrosomes in prophase. Further, we show that both Pak1 and Pak2 counteract centrosome separation in a kinase-dependent manner and demonstrate that they act downstream of Tiam1. We also show that depletion of Pak1/2 allows cells to escape monopolar arrest by Eg5 inhibition, highlighting the potential importance of this signalling pathway for the development of Eg5 inhibitors as cancer therapeutics.

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