Faithful progression through mitosis is critically dependent on the timely phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of a host of proteins. The involved protein kinases and phosphatases are embedded in interconnected feedback and feedforward circuits that ensure swift and robust phase transitions. Here we review recent evidence showing that protein phosphatases are modulators of the mitotic entry but also organize the mitotic exit through an orderly dephosphorylation of their substrates. In addition, phosphatases spatiotemporally restrict the phosphorylation of key regulatory proteins and oppose kinases to control highly dynamic mitotic processes, including chromosome congression and checkpoint signaling. In accordance with their important role as nodes in phosphorylation networks, mitotic protein phosphatases are tightly regulated in four dimensions.
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