The proper regulation of factors involved in mitosis is crucial to ensure normal cell division. Levels and activities of proteins are regulated in many ways, one of which is ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. E3 ubiquitin ligases are involved in targeting specific substrates for degradation by facilitating their ubiquitination. In seeking to elucidate additional biological roles for Cul3 we performed a two-hybrid screen and identified Ctb9/KLHDC5 as a Cul3-interacting protein. Overexpression of Ctb9/KLHDC5 resulted in an increase in microtubule density as well as persistent microtubule bridges between post-mitotic cells. Conversely, down-regulation of Ctb9/KLHDC5 showed a pronounced reduction in microtubule density. Based on these observations, we examined the interactions between Cul3, Ctb9/KLHDC5, and the microtubule-severing protein, p60/katanin. Here we show that p60/katanin interacts with a complex consisting of Cul3 and Ctb9/KLHDC5, which results in ubiquitin laddering of p60/katanin. Also, Cul3-deficient cells or Ctb9/KLHDC5-deficient cells show an increase in p60/katanin levels, indicating that Cul3/Ctb9/KLHDC5 is required for efficient p60/katanin removal. We demonstrate a novel regulatory mechanism for p60/katanin that occurs at the level of targeted proteolysis to allow normal mitotic progression in mammalian cells
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