Research article

Actopaxin is phosphorylated during mitosis and is a substrate for cyclin B1/cdc2 kinase

Michael CURTIS, Sotiris N. NIKOLOPOULOS, Christopher E. TURNER


Prior to cell division, normal adherent cells adopt a round morphology that is associated with a loss of actin stress fibres and disassembly of focal adhesions. In this study, we investigate the mitotic phosphorylation of the recently described paxillin and actin-binding focal-adhesion protein actopaxin [Nikolopoulos and Turner (2000) J. Cell Biol. 151, 1435–1448]. Actopaxin is comprised of an N-terminus containing six putative cdc2 phosphorylation sites and a C-terminus consisting of tandem calponin homology domains. Here we show that the N-terminus of actopaxin is phosphorylated by cyclin B1/cdc2 kinase in vitro and that this region of actopaxin precipitates cdc2 kinase activity from mitotic lysates. Actopaxin exhibits reduced electrophoretic mobility during mitosis that is dependent on phosphorylation within the first two consensus cdc2 phosphorylation sites. Finally, as cells progress from mitosis to G1 there is an adhesion-independent dephosphorylation of actopaxin, suggesting that actopaxin dephosphorylation precedes cell spreading and the reformation of focal adhesions. Taken together, these results suggest a role for cyclin B1/cdc2-dependent phosphorylation of actopaxin in regulating actin cytoskeleton reorganization during cell division.

  • cell adhesion
  • cell cycle
  • parvin
  • phosphorylation


  • Abbreviations used: ECM, extracellular matrix; ILK, integrin-linked kinase; CH, calponin homology; CH-ILKBP, CH domain-containing ILK-binding protein; GST, glutathione S-transferase; NP-40, Nonidet P-40; CIAP, calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase; 2D IEF, two-dimensional isoelectric focusing; CHO, Chinese hamster ovary; FAK, focal-adhesion kinase; SP, serine/proline.