Arabidopsis α-Aurora Kinase Plays a Role in Cytokinesis Through Regulating MAP65-3 Association with Microtubules at Phragmoplast Midzone
Published:03 Jun.2024    Source:Nature Communications
The α-Aurora kinase is a crucial regulator of spindle microtubule organization during mitosis in plants. Here, we report a post-mitotic role for α-Aurora in reorganizing the phragmoplast microtubule array. In Arabidopsis thaliana, α-Aurora relocated from spindle poles to the phragmoplast midzone, where it interacted with the microtubule cross-linker MAP65-3.
In a hypomorphic α-Aurora mutant, MAP65-3 was detected on spindle microtubules, followed by a diffuse association pattern across the phragmoplast midzone. Simultaneously, phragmoplast microtubules remained belatedly in a solid disk array before transitioning to a ring shape. Microtubules at the leading edge of the matured phragmoplast were often disengaged, accompanied by conspicuous retentions of MAP65-3 at the phragmoplast interior edge. Specifically, α-Aurora phosphorylated two residues towards the C-terminus of MAP65-3. Mutation of these residues to alanines resulted in an increased association of MAP65-3 with microtubules within the phragmoplast.
Consequently, the expansion of the phragmoplast was notably slower compared to wild-type cells or cells expressing a phospho-mimetic variant of MAP65-3. Moreover, mimicking phosphorylation reinstated disrupted MAP65-3 behaviors in plants with compromised α-Aurora function. Overall, our findings reveal a mechanism in which α-Aurora facilitates cytokinesis progression through phosphorylation-dependent restriction of MAP65-3 associating with microtubules at the phragmoplast midzone.