HIPK2 Phosphorylates the Microtubule-Severing Enzyme Spastin at S268 for Abscission

Alessandra Pisciottani, Loredana Biancolillo, Manuela Ferrara, Davide Valente, Francesca Sardina, Laura Monteonofrio, Serena Camerini, Marco Crescenzi, Silvia Soddu, Cinzia Rinaldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abscission is the final step of cell division, mediating the physical separation of the two daughter cells. A key player in this process is the microtubule-severing enzyme spastin that localizes at the midbody where its activity is crucial to cut microtubules and culminate the cytokinesis. Recently, we demonstrated that HIPK2, a multifunctional kinase involved in several cellular pathways, contributes to abscission and prevents tetraploidization. Here, we show that HIPK2 binds and phosphorylates spastin at serine 268. During cytokinesis, the midbody-localized spastin is phosphorylated at S268 in HIPK2-proficient cells. In contrast, no spastin is detectable at the midbody in HIPK2-depleted cells. The non-phosphorylatable spastin-S268A mutant does not localize at the midbody and cannot rescue HIPK2-depleted cells from abscission defects. In contrast, the phosphomimetic spastin-S268D mutant localizes at the midbody and restores successful abscission in the HIPK2-depleted cells. These results show that spastin is a novel target of HIPK2 and that HIPK2-mediated phosphorylation of spastin contributes to its midbody localization for successful abscission.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2019


  • Carrier Proteins/metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytokinesis
  • Humans
  • Microtubules/metabolism
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism
  • Serine/genetics
  • Spastin/genetics


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