Publication — IRIC
Understanding the Polo Kinase machine.
The Polo Kinase is a central regulator of cell division required for several events of mitosis and cytokinesis. In addition to a kinase domain (KD), Polo-like kinases (Plks) comprise a Polo-Box domain (PBD), which mediates protein interactions with targets and regulators of Plks. In all organisms that contain Plks, one Plk family member fulfills several essential functions in the regulation of cell division, and here we refer to this conserved protein as Polo Kinase (Plk1 in humans). The PBD and the KD are capable of both cooperation and mutual inhibition in their functions. Crystal structures of the PBD, the KD and, recently, a PBD-KD complex have helped understanding the inner workings of the Polo Kinase. In parallel, an impressive array of molecular mechanisms has been found to mediate the regulation of the protein. Moreover, the targeting of Polo Kinase in the development of anti-cancer drugs has yielded several molecules with which to chemically modulate Polo Kinase to study its biological functions. Here we review our current understanding of the protein function and regulation of Polo Kinase as a fascinating molecular device in control of cell division.