Centrosomal Localization of RXRα Promotes PLK1 Activation and Mitotic Progression and Constitutes a Tumor Vulnerability
Abstract: Retinoid X receptor alpha (RXRα), a nuclear receptor of transcription factor, controls various physiological and pathological pathways including cellular growth, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Here, we report that RXRα is phosphorylated at its N-terminal A/B domain by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) at the onset of mitosis, triggering its translocation to the centrosome, where phosphorylated-RXRα (p-RXRα) interacts with polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) through its N-terminal A/B domain by a unique mechanism. The interaction promotes PLK1 activation, centrosome maturation, and mitotic progression. Levels of p-RXRα are abnormally elevated in cancer cell lines, during carcinogenesis in animals, and in clinical tumor tissues. An RXRα ligand XS060, which specifically inhibits p-RXRα/PLK1 interaction but not RXRα heterodimerization, promotes mitotic arrest and catastrophe in a tumor-specific manner. These findings unravel a transcription-independent action of RXRα at the centrosome during mitosis and identify p-RXRα as a tumor-specific vulnerability for developing mitotic drugs with improved therapeutic index.