Regulation of sororin by Cdk1-mediated phosphorylation

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft Street, MS 601, Toledo, OH 43606, USA.
Journal of Cell Science (Impact Factor: 5.33). 09/2011; 124(Pt 17):2976-87. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.085431
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Tumor cells are commonly aneuploid, a condition contributing to cancer progression and drug resistance. Understanding how chromatids are linked and separated at the appropriate time will help uncover the basis of aneuploidy and will shed light on the behavior of tumor cells. Cohesion of sister chromatids is maintained by the multi-protein complex cohesin, consisting of Smc1, Smc3, Scc1 and Scc3. Sororin associates with the cohesin complex and regulates the segregation of sister chromatids. Sororin is phosphorylated in mitosis; however, the role of this modification is unclear. Here we show that mutation of potential cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) phosphorylation sites leaves sororin stranded on chromosomes and bound to cohesin throughout mitosis. Sororin can be precipitated from cell lysates with DNA-cellulose, and only the hypophosphorylated form of sororin shows this association. These results suggest that phosphorylation of sororin causes its release from chromatin in mitosis. Also, the hypophosphorylated form of sororin increases cohesion between sister chromatids, suggesting that phosphorylation of sororin by Cdk1 influences sister chromatid cohesion. Finally, phosphorylation-deficient sororin can alleviate the mitotic block that occurs upon knockdown of endogenous sororin. This mitotic block is abolished by ZM447439, an Aurora kinase inhibitor, suggesting that prematurely separated sister chromatids activate the spindle assembly checkpoint through an Aurora kinase-dependent pathway.

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