PLK4 promotes centriole duplication by phosphorylating STIL to link the procentriole cartwheel to the microtubule wall

Elife. 2019 May 22:8:e46054. doi: 10.7554/eLife.46054.


Centrioles play critical roles in organizing the assembly of the mitotic spindle and templating the formation of primary cilia. Centriole duplication occurs once per cell cycle and is regulated by Polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4). Although significant progress has been made in understanding centriole composition, we have limited knowledge of how PLK4 activity controls specific steps in centriole formation. Here, we show that PLK4 phosphorylates its centriole substrate STIL on a conserved site, S428, to promote STIL binding to CPAP. This phospho-dependent binding interaction is conserved in Drosophila and facilitates the stable incorporation of both STIL and CPAP into the centriole. We propose that procentriole assembly requires PLK4 to phosphorylate STIL in two different regions: phosphorylation of residues in the STAN motif allow STIL to bind SAS6 and initiate cartwheel assembly, while phosphorylation of S428 promotes the binding of STIL to CPAP, linking the cartwheel to microtubules of the centriole wall.

Keywords: Aneuploidy; Centriole; Centrosome; Microtubule; Mitosis; cell biology; human.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Centrioles / metabolism*
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Organelle Biogenesis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Sas-4 protein, Drosophila
  • Stil protein, Drosophila
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sak protein, Drosophila