Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Identifies Substrates and Functional Modules of Aurora and Polo-Like Kinase Activities in Mitotic Cells

Sci. Signal., 28 June 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 179, p. rs5
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001497

Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Identifies Substrates and Functional Modules of Aurora and Polo-Like Kinase Activities in Mitotic Cells

  1. Arminja N. Kettenbach1,2,
  2. Devin K. Schweppe1,
  3. Brendan K. Faherty1,
  4. Dov Pechenick1,
  5. Alexandre A. Pletnev2,3, and
  6. Scott A. Gerber1,2,*
  1. 1Department of Genetics, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.
  2. 2Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.
  3. 3Department of Chemistry, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.
  1. *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: scott.a.gerber{at}dartmouth.edu


Mitosis is a process involving a complex series of events that require careful coordination. Protein phosphorylation by a small number of kinases, in particular Aurora A, Aurora B, the cyclin-dependent kinase–cyclin complex Cdk1/cyclinB, and Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), orchestrates almost every step of cell division, from entry into mitosis to cytokinesis. To discover more about the functions of Aurora A, Aurora B, and kinases of the Plk family, we mapped mitotic phosphorylation sites to these kinases through the combined use of quantitative phosphoproteomics and selective targeting of kinase activities by small-molecule inhibitors. Using this integrated approach, we connected 778 phosphorylation sites on 562 proteins with these enzymes in cells arrested in mitosis. By connecting the kinases to protein complexes, we associated these kinases with functional modules. In addition to predicting previously unknown functions, this work establishes additional substrate-recognition motifs for these kinases and provides an analytical template for further use in dissecting kinase signaling events in other areas of cellular signaling and systems biology.


A. N. Kettenbach, D. K. Schweppe, B. K. Faherty, D. Pechenick, A. A. Pletnev, and S. A. Gerber, Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Identifies Substrates and Functional Modules of Aurora and Polo-Like Kinase Activities in Mitotic Cells. Sci. Signal. 4, rs5 (2011).

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