The GIT-associated kinase PAK targets to the centrosome and regulates Aurora-A
journal contributionposted on 2005-10-01, 00:00 authored by Zhuo-shen Zhao, Jet Phey LimJet Phey Lim, Yuen-Wai Ng, Louis Lim, Ed Manser
Previously, we showed PAK-PIX-GIT targets and regulates focal adhesions; here, we uncover a different function for the complex at the centrosome. Active PAK1 is particularly evident in mitosis and phosphorylates the centrosomal adaptor GIT1 on serine 517. Interestingly, direct centrosome targeting activates the kinase via a process not requiring Rho GTPases; excision of the centrosome prevents this activation. Once activated, PAK1 dissociates from PIX/GIT but can bind to and phosphorylate the important centrosomal kinase Aurora-A. PAK1 promotes phosphorylation of Aurora-A on Thr288 and Ser342, which are key sites for kinase activation in mitosis. In vivo PAK activation causes an accumulation of activated Aurora-A; conversely, when βPIX is depleted or PAK is inhibited, there is a delay in centrosome maturation. These observations may underlie reported effects of active PAK on cells, including histone H3 phosphorylation, alterations in centrosome number, and progression through mitosis.