In mitosis, cells undergo a precisely orchestrated series of spatiotemporal changes in cytoskeletal structure to divide their genetic material. These changes are coordinated by a sophisticated network of protein-protein interactions and posttranslational modifications. In this study, we report a bifurcation in a signaling cascade of the NIMA-related kinases (Neks) Nek6, Nek7, and Nek9 that is required for the localization and function of two kinesins essential for cytokinesis, Mklp2 and Kif14. We demonstrate that a Nek9, Nek6, and Mklp2 signaling module controls the timely localization and bundling activity of Mklp2 at the anaphase central spindle. We further show that a separate Nek9, Nek7, and Kif14 signaling module is required for the recruitment of the Rho-interacting kinase citron to the anaphase midzone. Our findings uncover an anaphase-specific function for these effector kinesins that is controlled by specific Nek kinase signaling modules to properly coordinate cytokinesis.
© 2017 Cullati et al.