Here we provide evidence in support of an inherent role for Arpc1b, a component of the Arp2/3 complex, in regulation of mitosis and demonstrate that its depletion inhibits Aurora A activation at the centrosome and impairs the ability of mammalian cells to enter mitosis. We discovered that Arpc1b colocalizes with gamma-tubulin at centrosomes and stimulates Aurora A activity. Aurora A phosphorylates Arpc1b on threonine 21, and expression of Arpc1b but not a nonphosphorylatable Arpc1b mutant in mammalian cells leads to Aurora A kinase activation and abnormal centrosome amplification in a Pak1-independent manner. Together, these findings reveal a new function for Arpc1b in centrosomal homeostasis. Arpc1b is both a physiological activator and substrate of Aurora A kinase and these interactions help to maintain mitotic integrity in mammalian cells.
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