Mitotic kinase anchoring proteins: the navigators of cell division

Cell Cycle. 2020 Mar;19(5):505-524. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2020.1728014. Epub 2020 Feb 12.


The coordinated activities of many protein kinases, acting on multiple protein substrates, ensures the error-free progression through mitosis of eukaryotic cells. Enormous research effort has thus been devoted to studying the roles and regulation of these mitotic kinases, and to the identification of their physiological substrates. Central for the timely deployment of specific protein kinases to their appropriate substrates during the cell division cycle are the many anchoring proteins, which serve critical regulatory roles. Through direct association, anchoring proteins are capable of modulating the catalytic activity and/or sub-cellular distribution of the mitotic kinases they associate with. The key roles of some anchoring proteins in cell division are well-established, whilst others are still being unearthed. Here, we review the current knowledge on anchoring proteins for some mitotic kinases, and highlight how targeting anchoring proteins for inhibition, instead of the mitotic kinases themselves, could be advantageous for disrupting the cell division cycle.

Keywords: Aurora; CDK; CK1α; Plk; cell cycle; mitosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aurora Kinases / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / metabolism
  • Cyclins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • M Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitosis* / drug effects
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Cyclins
  • Knl1 protein, human
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases