HIPK2 and extrachromosomal histone H2B are separately recruited by Aurora-B for cytokinesis

Laura Monteonofrio, Davide Valente, Manuela Ferrara, Serena Camerini, Roberta Miscione, Marco Crescenzi, Cinzia Rinaldo, Silvia Soddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytokinesis, the final phase of cell division, is necessary to form two distinct daughter cells with correct distribution of genomic and cytoplasmic materials. Its failure provokes genetically unstable states, such as tetraploidization and polyploidization, which can contribute to tumorigenesis. Aurora-B kinase controls multiple cytokinetic events, from chromosome condensation to abscission when the midbody is severed. We have previously shown that HIPK2, a kinase involved in DNA damage response and development, localizes at the midbody and contributes to abscission by phosphorylating extrachromosomal histone H2B at Ser14. Of relevance, HIPK2-defective cells do not phosphorylate H2B and do not successfully complete cytokinesis leading to accumulation of binucleated cells, chromosomal instability, and increased tumorigenicity. However, how HIPK2 and H2B are recruited to the midbody during cytokinesis is still unknown. Here, we show that regardless of their direct (H2B) and indirect (HIPK2) binding of chromosomal DNA, both H2B and HIPK2 localize at the midbody independently of nucleic acids. Instead, by using mitotic kinase-specific inhibitors in a spatio-temporal regulated manner, we found that Aurora-B kinase activity is required to recruit both HIPK2 and H2B to the midbody. Molecular characterization showed that Aurora-B directly binds and phosphorylates H2B at Ser32 while indirectly recruits HIPK2 through the central spindle components MgcRacGAP and PRC1. Thus, among different cytokinetic functions, Aurora-B separately recruits HIPK2 and H2B to the midbody and these activities contribute to faithful cytokinesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 22 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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