Aurora-A, a centrosomal serine-threonine kinase, orchestrates several key aspects of cell division. However, the regulatory pathways for the protein stability and kinase activity of Aurora-A are still not completely understood. In this study, PUM2, an RNA-binding protein, is identified as a novel substrate and interacting protein of Aurora-A. Overexpression of the PUM2 mutant which fails to interact with Aurora-A, and depletion of PUM2 result in a decrease in the amount of Aurora-A. PUM2 physically binds to the D-box of Aurora-A, which is recognized by APC/C(Cdh1). Overexpression of PUM2 prevents ubiquitination and enhances the protein stability of Aurora-A, suggesting that PUM2 protects Aurora-A from APC/C(Cdh1)-mediated degradation. Moreover, association of PUM2 with Aurora-A not only makes Aurora-A more stable but also enhances the kinase activity of Aurora-A. Our study suggests that PUM2 plays two different but important roles during cell cycle progression. In interphase, PUM2 localizes in cytoplasm and plays as translational repressor through its RNA binding domain. However, in mitosis, PUM2 physically associates with Aurora-A to ensure enough active Aurora-A at centrosomes for mitotic entry. This is the first time to reveal the moonlight role of PUM2 in mitosis.
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