A Cul3-based E3 ligase removes Aurora B from mitotic chromosomes, regulating mitotic progression and completion of cytokinesis in human cells.
Faithful cell-cycle progression is tightly controlled by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Here we identify a human Cullin 3-based E3 ligase (Cul3) which is essential for mitotic division. In a complex with the substrate-specific adaptors KLHL9 and KLHL13, Cul3 is required for correct chromosome alignment in metaphase, proper midzone and midbody formation, and completion of cytokinesis. This Cul3-based E3 ligase removes components of the chromosomal passenger complex from mitotic chromosomes and allows their accumulation on the central spindle during anaphase. Aurora B directly binds to the substrate-recognition domain of KLHL9 and KLHL13 in vitro, and coimmunoprecipitates with the Cul3 complex during mitosis. Moreover, Aurora B is ubiquitylated in a Cul3-dependent manner in vivo, and by reconstituted Cul3/KLHL9/KLHL13 ligase in vitro. We thus propose that the Cul3/KLHL9/KLHL13 E3 ligase controls the dynamic behavior of Aurora B on mitotic chromosomes, and thereby coordinates faithful mitotic progression and completion of cytokinesis.