MASTL is the human ortholog of Greatwall kinase that facilitates mitotic entry, anaphase and cytokinesis
Volume 9, Issue 17
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September 1, 2010
Pages 3591 - 3601http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.9.17.12832
Authors: Erik Voets and Rob M.F. Wolthuis View affiliations
Greatwall (Gwl) was originally discovered in Drosophila as an essential kinase for correct chromosome condensation and mitotic progression. In Xenopus, Gwl may influence the positive-feedback loop that directs cyclin B1-Cdk1 activation and the mitotic state by inhibiting the phosphatase PP2A. Here, we describe the human orthologue of Gwl called microtubule-associated serine/threonine kinase-like (MASTL). We found that MASTL localizes to the nucleus in interphase and re-localizes in part to centrosomes in mitosis, when it is active. Cells strongly depleted of MASTL by RNAi delay in G2 phase and reveal slow chromosome condensation. MASTL RNAi cells that enter and progress through mitosis often fail to completely separate their sister chromatids in anaphase. This causes chromatin to be trapped in the cleavage furrow, which may lead to formation of 4N G1 cells by cytokinesis failure. Further, our experiments indicate that MASTL supports the phosphorylation state of mitotic phospho-proteins downstream of cyclin B1-Cdk1, including the APC/C. Cyclin B1 destruction is incomplete when mitotic cells that are strongly depleted of MASTL exit mitosis. We propose that MASTL enhances cyclin B1-Cdk1-dependent mitotic phosphorylation-events, directing mitotic entry, anaphase and cytokinesis in human cells.