We identified the mitotic kinesin-like protein 2 (MKlp2), a kinesin required for chromosome passenger complex (CPC)-mediated cytokinesis, as a target of the mitotic checkpoint protein Mad2. MKlp2 possesses a consensus Mad2-binding motif required for Mad2 binding. Mad2 prevents MKlp2 from loading onto the mitotic spindle, a prerequisite step for its function as a mitotic kinesin. Furthermore, Mad2 inhibits the ability of MKlp2 to relocate the CPC from centromeres, an essential step to promote cytokinesis. An MKlp2 mutant that is refractory to Mad2-mediated inhibition prematurely translocates to the mitotic spindle and mislocalizes the CPC component Aurora B from the midbody of dividing cells. This correlates with an increased incidence of cytokinesis failure. Together, these findings reveal that MKlp2 is a novel mitotic target of Mad2 necessary for proper mitotic progression and cytokinesis.
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