Polo-like kinase 1 and Chk2 interact and co-localize to centrosomes and the midbody.
Chk2 is a protein kinase intermediary in DNA damage checkpoint pathways. DNA damage induces phosphorylation of Chk2 at multiple sites concomitant with activation. Chk2 phosphorylated at Thr-68 is found in nuclear foci at sites of DNA damage (1). We report here that Chk2 phosphorylated at Thr-68 and Thr-26 or Ser-28 is localized to centrosomes and midbodies in the absence of DNA damage. In a search for interactions between Chk2 and proteins with similar subcellular localization patterns, we found that Chk2 coimmunoprecipitates with Polo-like kinase 1, a regulator of chromosome segregation, mitotic entry, and mitotic exit. Plk1 overexpression enhances phosphorylation of Chk2 at Thr-68. Plk1 phosphorylates recombinant Chk2 in vitro. Indirect immunofluorescence (IF) microscopy revealed the co-localization of Chk2 and Plk1 to centrosomes in early mitosis and to the midbody in late mitosis. These findings suggest lateral communication between the DNA damage and mitotic checkpoints.