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Role for polo-like kinase 4 in mediation of cytokinesis


The mitotic protein polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4) plays a critical role in centrosome duplication for cell division. By using immunofluorescence, we confirm that PLK4 is localized to centrosomes. In addition, we find that phospho-PLK4 (pPLK4) is cleaved and distributed to kinetochores (metaphase and anaphase), spindle midzone/cleavage furrow (anaphase and telophase), and midbody (cytokinesis) during cell division in immortalized epithelial cells as well as breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer cells. The distribution of pPLK4 midzone/cleavage furrow and midbody positions pPLK4 to play a functional role in cytokinesis. Indeed, we found that inhibition of PLK4 kinase activity with a small-molecule inhibitor, CFI-400945, prevents translocation to the spindle midzone/cleavage furrow and prevents cellular abscission, leading to the generation of cells with polyploidy, increased numbers of duplicated centrosomes, and vulnerability to anaphase or mitotic catastrophe. The regulatory role of PLK4 in cytokinesis makes it a potential target for therapeutic intervention in appropriately selected cancers.

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