Bipolar mitotic spindle organization is fundamental to faithful chromosome segregation. Furry (Fry) is an evolutionarily conserved protein implicated in cell division and morphology. In human cells, Fry localizes to centrosomes and spindle microtubules in early mitosis, and depletion of Fry causes multipolar spindle formation. However, it remains unknown how Fry controls bipolar spindle organization. This study demonstrates that Fry binds to polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) through the polo-box domain of Plk1 in a manner dependent on the cyclin-dependent kinase 1-mediated Fry phosphorylation at Thr-2516. Fry also binds to Aurora A and promotes Plk1 activity by binding to the polo-box domain of Plk1 and by facilitating Aurora A-mediated Plk1 phosphorylation at Thr-210. Depletion of Fry causes centrosome and centriole splitting in mitotic spindles and reduces the kinase activity of Plk1 in mitotic cells and the accumulation of Thr-210-phosphorylated Plk1 at the spindle poles. Our results suggest that Fry plays a crucial role in the structural integrity of mitotic centrosomes and in the maintenance of spindle bipolarity by promoting Plk1 activity at the spindle poles in early mitosis.
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