PLK2 phosphorylation is critical for CPAP function in procentriole formation during the centrosome cycle

EMBO J. 2010 Jul 21;29(14):2395-406. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.118. Epub 2010 Jun 8.


Control of centrosome duplication is tightly linked with the progression of the cell cycle. Recent studies suggest that the fundamental process of centriole duplication is evolutionally conserved. Here, we identified centrosomal P4.1-associated protein (CPAP), a human homologue of SAS-4, as a substrate of PLK2 whose activity oscillates during the cell cycle. PLK2 phosphorylates the S589 and S595 residues of CPAP in vitro and in vivo. This phosphorylation is critical for procentriole formation during the centrosome cycle. PLK4 also phosphorylates S595 of CPAP, but PLK4 phosphorylation is not a critical step in the PLK4 function in procentriole assembly. CPAP is phosphorylated in a cell cycle stage-specific manner, so that its phosphorylation increases at the G1/S transition phase and decreases during the exit of mitosis. Phosphorylated CPAP is preferentially located at the procentriole. Furthermore, overexpression of a phospho-resistant CPAP mutant resulted in the failure to form elongated centrioles. On the basis of these results, we propose that phosphorylated CPAP is involved in procentriole assembly, possibly for centriole elongation. This work demonstrates an example of how procentriole formation is linked to the progression of the cell cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Centrioles / metabolism*
  • Centrosome / metabolism*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • CENPJ protein, human
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • PLK2 protein, human
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases