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The deubiquitinating enzyme complex BRISC is required for proper mitotic spindle assembly in mammalian cells.

Yan K., Li L., Wang X., Hong R., Zhang Y., Yang H., Lin M., Zhang S., He Q., Zheng D., Tang J., Yin Y., Shao G.

Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) negatively regulate protein ubiquitination and play an important role in diverse physiological processes, including mitotic division. The BRCC36 isopeptidase complex (BRISC) is a DUB that is specific for lysine 63-linked ubiquitin hydrolysis; however, its biological function remains largely undefined. Here, we identify a critical role for BRISC in the control of mitotic spindle assembly in cultured mammalian cells. BRISC is a microtubule (MT)-associated protein complex that predominantly localizes to the minus ends of K-fibers and spindle poles and directly binds to MTs; importantly, BRISC promotes the assembly of functional bipolar spindle by deubiquitinating the essential spindle assembly factor nuclear mitotic apparatus (NuMA). The deubiquitination of NuMA regulates its interaction with dynein and importin-β, which are required for its function in spindle assembly. Collectively, these results uncover BRISC as an important regulator of the mitotic spindle assembly and cell division, and have important implications for the development of anticancer drugs targeting BRISC.

J. Cell Biol. 210:209-224(2015) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]