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Molecular biology of the cell

Aurora-B regulates RNA methyltransferase NSUN2.


PMID 17215513

Abstract

Disassembly of the nucleolus during mitosis is driven by phosphorylation of nucleolar proteins. RNA processing stops until completion of nucleolar reformation in G(1) phase. Here, we describe the RNA methyltransferase NSUN2, a novel substrate of Aurora-B that contains an NOL1/NOP2/sun domain. NSUN2 was concentrated in the nucleolus during interphase and was distributed in the perichromosome and cytoplasm during mitosis. Aurora-B phosphorylated NSUN2 at Ser139. Nucleolar proteins NPM1/nucleophosmin/B23 and nucleolin/C23 were associated with NSUN2 during interphase. In mitotic cells, association between NPM1 and NSUN2 was inhibited, but NSUN2-S139A was constitutively associated with NPM1. The Aurora inhibitor Hesperadin induced association of NSUN2 with NPM1 even in mitosis, despite the silver staining nucleolar organizer region disassembly. In vitro methylation experiments revealed that the Aurora-B-phosphorylation and the phosphorylation-mimic mutation (S139E) suppressed methyltransferase activities of NSUN2. These results indicate that Aurora-B participates to regulate the assembly of nucleolar RNA-processing machinery and the RNA methyltransferase activity of NSUN2 via phosphorylation at Ser139 during mitosis.