Accumulating evidence suggests that Bcl-xL, an anti-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, also functions in cell cycle progression and cell cycle checkpoints. Analysis of a series of phosphorylation site mutants reveals that cells expressing Bcl-xL(Ser62Ala) mutant are less stable at the G 2 checkpoint and enter mitosis more rapidly than cells expressing wild-type Bcl-xL or Bcl-xL phosphorylation site mutants, including Thr41Ala, Ser43Ala, Thr47Ala, Ser56Ala and Thr115Ala. Analysis of the dynamic phosphorylation and location of phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser62) in unperturbed, synchronized cells and during DNA damage-induced G 2 arrest discloses that a pool of phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser62) accumulates into nucleolar structures in etoposide-exposed cells during G 2 arrest. In a series of in vitro kinase assays, pharmacological inhibitors and specific siRNAs experiments, we found that Polo kinase 1 and MAPK9/JNK2 are major protein kinases involved in Bcl-xL(Ser62) phosphorylation and accumulation into nucleolar structures during the G 2 checkpoint. In nucleoli, phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser62) binds to and co-localizes with Cdk1(cdc2), the key cyclin-dependent kinase required for entry into mitosis. These data indicate that during G 2 checkpoint, phospho-Bcl-xL(Ser62) stabilizes G 2 arrest by timely trapping of Cdk1(cdc2) in nucleolar structures to slow mitotic entry. It also highlights that DNA damage affects the dynamic composition of the nucleolus, which now emerges as a piece of the DNA damage response.