Transgelin-2 and phosphoregulation of the LIC2 subunit of dynein govern mitotic spindle orientation

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Journal of cell science


The molecular motor dynein is essential for mitotic spindle orientation, which defines the axis of cell division. The light intermediate chain subunits, LIC1 and LIC2, define biochemically and functionally distinct vertebrate dynein complexes, with LIC2-dynein playing a crucial role in ensuring spindle orientation. We reveal a novel, mitosis-specific interaction of LIC2-dynein with the cortical actin-bundling protein transgelin-2. Transgelin-2 is required for maintaining proper spindle length, equatorial metaphase chromosome alignment, spindle orientation and timely anaphase onset. We show that transgelin-2 stabilizes the cortical recruitment of LGN-NuMA, which together with dynein is required for spindle orientation. The opposing actions of transgelin-2 and LIC2-dynein maintain optimal cortical levels of LGN-NuMA. In addition, we show that the highly conserved serine 194 phosphorylation of LIC2 is required for proper spindle orientation, by maintaining mitotic centrosome integrity to ensure optimal astral microtubule nucleation. The work reveals two specific mechanisms through which LIC2-dynein regulates mitotic spindle orientation; namely, through a new interactor transgelin-2, which is required for engagement of LGN-NuMA with the actin cortex, and through mitotic phosphoregulation of LIC2 to control microtubule nucleation from the poles.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.



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