Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Biology Open 1, 82–91

doi: 10.1242/bio.2011018


Copyright 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License


The cullin-RING family of ubiquitin ligases regulates diverse cellular functions, such as cell cycle control, via ubiquitylation of specific substrates. CUL3 targets its substrates through BTB proteins. Here we show that depletion of CUL3 and the BTB protein KLHL18 causes a delay in mitotic entry. Centrosomal activation of Aurora-A, a kinase whose activity is required for entry into mitosis, is also delayed in depleted cells. Moreover, we identify Aurora-A as a KLHL18-interacting partner. Overexpression of KLHL18 and CUL3 promotes Aurora-A ubiquitylation in vivo, and the CUL3-KLHL18-ROC1 ligase ubiquitylates Aurora-A in vitro. Our study reveals that the CUL3-KLHL18 ligase is required for timely entry into mitosis, as well as for the activation of Aurora-A at centrosomes. We propose that the CUL3-KLHL18 ligase regulates mitotic entry through an Aurora-A-dependent pathway.