The reciprocal regulation of phosphoprotein phosphatases (PPPs) by protein kinases is essential to cell cycle progression and control, particularly during mitosis for which the role of kinases has been extensively studied. PPPs perform much of the serine/threonine dephosphorylation in eukaryotic cells and achieve substrate selectivity and specificity through the interaction of distinct regulatory subunits with conserved catalytic subunits in holoenzyme complexes. Using a mass spectrometry-based chemical proteomics approach to enrich, identify, and quantify endogenous PPP holoenzyme complexes combined with kinase profiling, we investigated the phosphorylation-dependent regulation of PPP holoenzymes in mitotic cells. We found that cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) phosphorylated a threonine residue on the catalytic subunit of the phosphatase PP2A, which disrupted its holoenzyme formation with the regulatory subunit B55. The consequent decrease in the dephosphorylation of PP2A-B55 substrates promoted mitotic entry. This direct phosphorylation by CDK1 was in addition to a previously reported indirect mechanism, thus adding a layer to the interaction between CDK1 and PP2A in regulating mitotic entry.
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