The conserved Bora protein is a Plk1 activator, essential for checkpoint recovery after DNA damage in human cells. Here, we show that Bora interacts with Cyclin B and is phosphorylated by Cyclin B/Cdk1 at several sites. The first 225 amino acids of Bora, which contain two Cyclin binding sites and three conserved phosphorylated residues, are sufficient to promote Plk1 phosphorylation by Aurora A in vitro. Mutating the Cyclin binding sites or the three conserved phosphorylation sites abrogates the ability of the N terminus of Bora to promote Plk1 activation. In human cells, Bora-carrying mutations of the three conserved phosphorylation sites cannot sustain mitotic entry after DNA damage. In C. elegans embryos, mutation of the three conserved phosphorylation sites in SPAT-1, the Bora ortholog, results in a severe mitotic entry delay. Our results reveal a crucial and conserved role of phosphorylation of the N terminus of Bora for Plk1 activation and mitotic entry.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.