The eukaryotic cell nucleus is a highly dynamic organelle. This is illustrated most dramatically during mitosis, when the nuclear envelope breaks down, the nuclear lamina disassembles, chromosomes condense, and a microtubule-based spindle apparatus distributes sister chromatids to the dividing daughter cells. Many of these dramatic changes in nuclear architecture and microtubule organization are controlled by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation events. Whereas the cardinal role of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in the regulation of mitosis is well established, there is now clear evidence for the requirement of additional mitotic protein kinases. Studies into the regulation of CDKs and other mitotic kinases have revealed that these enzymes undergo cell cycle dependent changes in subcellular distribution, suggesting that localization may contribute to regulating their activities. This article describes some recent findings relating to the nucleocytoplasmic translocation of CDK/cyclin complexes at the onset of mitosis. In addition, it summarizes recent information on two novel human protein kinases which have been implicated in the control of mitotic progression.

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