LIM kinase-mediated cofilin phosphorylation during mitosis is required for precise spindle positioning

Noriko Kaji, Aya Muramoto, Kensaku Mizuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction of astral microtubules with cortical actin networks is essential for the correct orientation of the mitotic spindle; however, little is known about how the cortical actin organization is regulated during mitosis. LIM kinase-1 (LIMK1) regulates actin dynamics by phosphorylating and inactivating cofilin, an actin-depolymerizing protein. LIMK1 activity increases during mitosis. Here we show that mitotic LIMK1 activation is critical for accurate spindle orientation in mammalian cells. Knockdown of LIMK1 suppressed a mitosis-specific increase in cofilin phosphorylation and caused unusual cofilin localization in the cell cortex in metaphase, instability of cortical actin organization and astral microtubules, irregular rotation and misorientation of the spindle, and a delay in anaphase onset. Similar results were obtained by treating the cells with a LIMK1 inhibitor peptide or latrunculin A or by overexpressing a non-phosphorylatable cofilin(S3A) mutant. Furthermore, localization of LGN (a protein containing the repetitive Leu-Gly-Asn tripeptide motifs), an important regulator of spindle orientation, in the crescent-shaped cortical regions was perturbed in LIMK1 knockdown cells. Our results suggest that LIMK1-mediated cofilin phosphorylation is required for accurate spindle orientation by stabilizing cortical actin networks during mitosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4983-4992
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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