Paper in EMBO Reports from Higgins lab

A collaborative study between the Higgins lab (Newcastle) and Fangwei Wang's lab at the LSI, Zhejiang University, China, shows how Polo-like kinase regulates Haspin in mitosis.

Polo‐like kinase‐1 triggers histone phosphorylation by Haspin in mitosis

EMBO reports (2014) 15, 273-281   

During mitosis, Haspin phosphorylates histone H3 at Thr 3 to recruit the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC). This study shows that this event is controlled by Plk1‐mediated phosphorylation of Haspin, which is required for H3 modification in early mitosis and thus for appropriate CPC recruitment.

  • Priming phosphorylation of Haspin by Cdk1‐Cyclin B promotes Plk1 binding 
  • Plk1 interacts with the S‐pT128‐P motif of Haspin 
  • Phosphorylation of Haspin by Plk1 stimulates histone H3 phosphorylation at Thr 3, particularly in early mitosis
  • Plk1 has a positive role in recruiting the CPC to centromeres


The results are highlighted in an accompanying news and views article:

Moutinho‐Santos T and Maiato H. Plk1 puts a (Has)pin on the mitotic histone code


Published online: March 2014

Last modified: Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:10:53 BST