At the onset of mitosis, the nuclear lamins are hyperphosphorylated leading to nuclear lamina disassembly, a process required for nuclear envelope breakdown and entry into mitosis. Multiple lamin kinases have been identified, including protein kinase C, that mediate mitotic lamin phosphorylation and mitotic nuclear lamina disassembly. Conversely, lamin dephosphorylation is required for nuclear lamina reassembly at the completion of mitosis. However, the protein phosphatase(s) responsible for the removal of mitotic phosphates from the lamins is unknown. In this study, we use human lamin B phosphorylated at mitosis-specific sites as a substrate to identify and characterize a lamin phosphatase activity from mitotic human cells. Several lines of evidence demonstrate that the mitotic lamin phosphatase corresponds to type I protein phosphatase (PP1). First, mitotic lamin phosphatase activity is inhibited by high nanomolar concentrations of okadaic acid and the specific PP1 peptide inhibitor, inhibitor-2. Second, mitotic lamin phosphatase activity cofractionates with PP1 after ion exchange chromatography. Third, microcystin-agarose depletes mitotic extracts of both PP1 and lamin phosphatase activity. Our results demonstrate that PP1 is the major mitotic lamin phosphatase responsible for removal of mitotic phosphates from lamin B, a process required for nuclear lamina reassembly.
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