The Mps1 family of protein kinases contributes to cell cycle control by regulating multiple microtubule cytoskeleton activities. We have uncovered a new Mps1 substrate that provides a novel link between Mps1 and the actin cytoskeleton. We have identified a conserved human Mps1 (hMps1) interacting protein and have termed Mps1 interacting protein-1 (Mip1). Mip1 defines an uncharacterized family of conserved proteins that contain coiled-coil and calponin homology domains. We demonstrate that Mip1 is a phosphoprotein that interacts with hMps1 in vitro and in vivo and is a hMps1 substrate. Mip1 exhibits dynamic localization during the cell cycle; Mip1 localizes to the actin cytoskeleton during interphase, the spindle in early mitosis and the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Mip1 function is required to ensure proper spindle positioning at the onset of anaphase after cells begin furrow ingression. Cells depleted of Mip1 exhibit aberrant mitotic actin filament organization, excessive membrane blebbing, dramatic spindle rocking and chromosome distribution errors during early cytokinesis producing high numbers of binucleate cells. Our data indicate that Mip1 is a newly recognized component of the actin cytoskeleton that interacts with hMps1 and that it is essential to ensure proper segregation of the genome during cell cleavage
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