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Gene Review

polo  -  CG12306 gene product from transcript...

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: 0256/04, 1324/08, CG12306, Dmel\CG12306, PLK1, ...
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High impact information on polo

  • Present in organisms ranging from yeast to man, homologues of the Drosophila Polo kinase control multiple stages of cell division [1].
  • polo encodes a protein kinase homolog required for mitosis in Drosophila [2].
  • This can be rescued by addition of phosphorylated Asp or active Polo kinase [3].
  • We have found that one of these is Polo, a protein kinase known to regulate several aspects of cell division including centrosome maturation and function [4].
  • We discuss these findings in respect to conserved functions for the Polo-like kinases in regulating progression through M phase, including the earliest events of cytokinesis [5].

Biological context of polo

  • As Polo-like kinase was shown to colocalize and coimmunoprecipitate with Chk2 [Tsvetkov et al., J. Biol. Chem. 278 (2003) 8468-8475] in mammals, these observations suggest that polo might be a key target of Dmchk2 in regulating mitotic entry in response to DNA damage or replication block [6].
  • The localization of Polo at the kinetochore and the mid-zone of the central spindle together with the phenotypes of polo mutants point to functions at the metaphase to anaphase transition and in cytokinesis [7].
  • In this article, we report that the cell cycle regulatory kinase Polo binds to BicD protein during oogenesis [8].
  • Interaction between Polo and BicD proteins links oocyte determination and meiosis control in Drosophila [8].
  • Consistent with the previously reported localization of Polo kinase, Plk1-GFP was strongly localized to centrosomes and recruited to the centromeric regions of condensing chromosomes during early mitosis [9].

Associations of polo with chemical compounds

  • Polo, the founding member of the family of polo-like kinases (Plks) was identified in a Drosophila screen for mutants affecting spindle pole behavior.(1) Several mutants showed defects at their spindle poles and were hence named after the magnetic poles of the earth or geo-magnetic phenomena associated with them, like Polo and Aurora [10].
  • The Polo family of kinases is distinct from other serine/threonine kinases in that they all contain a polo-box sequence motif in their non-catalytic C-terminal domain [11].

Physical interactions of polo

  • Map205 can stabilize Polo and inhibit its cellular activity in vivo [12].

Other interactions of polo

  • Third, Klp3A and Polo, two markers of the wild-type central spindle are also found around the pointed end of the mutant cones [13].
  • Genes for the mitotic kinases Polo and Aurora A were first identified in Drosophila through screens of maternal effect lethal mutations for defects in spindle pole behaviour [7].


  1. Polo-like kinases: positive regulators of cell division from start to finish. Nigg, E.A. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  2. polo encodes a protein kinase homolog required for mitosis in Drosophila. Llamazares, S., Moreira, A., Tavares, A., Girdham, C., Spruce, B.A., Gonzalez, C., Karess, R.E., Glover, D.M., Sunkel, C.E. Genes Dev. (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Polo kinase and Asp are needed to promote the mitotic organizing activity of centrosomes. do Carmo Avides, M., Tavares, A., Glover, D.M. Nat. Cell Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Requirement of Hsp90 for centrosomal function reflects its regulation of Polo kinase stability. de Cárcer, G., do Carmo Avides, M., Lallena, M.J., Glover, D.M., González, C. EMBO J. (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Drosophila polo kinase is required for cytokinesis. Carmena, M., Riparbelli, M.G., Minestrini, G., Tavares, A.M., Adams, R., Callaini, G., Glover, D.M. J. Cell Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Drosophila chk2 plays an important role in a mitotic checkpoint in syncytial embryos. Xu, J., Du, W. FEBS Lett. (2003) [Pubmed]
  7. Polo kinase and progression through M phase in Drosophila: a perspective from the spindle poles. Glover, D.M. Oncogene (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Interaction between Polo and BicD proteins links oocyte determination and meiosis control in Drosophila. Mirouse, V., Formstecher, E., Couderc, J.L. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. Heterologous expression of mammalian Plk1 in Drosophila reveals divergence from Polo during late mitosis. Pearson, J., Godinho, S.A., Tavares, A., Glover, D.M. Exp. Cell Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
  10. Polo-like kinases: a team in control of the division. van de Weerdt, B.C., Medema, R.H. Cell Cycle (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Caenorhabditis elegans contains a third polo-like kinase gene. Chase, D., Golden, A., Heidecker, G., Ferris, D.K. DNA Seq. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Sequestration of Polo kinase to microtubules by phosphopriming-independent binding to Map205 is relieved by phosphorylation at a CDK site in mitosis. Archambault, V., D'Avino, P.P., Deery, M.J., Lilley, K.S., Glover, D.M. Genes Dev. (2008) [Pubmed]
  13. Organized microtubule arrays in gamma-tubulin-depleted Drosophila spermatocytes. Sampaio, P., Rebollo, E., Varmark, H., Sunkel, C.E., González, C. Curr. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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