WDR62 is a microcephaly-related, microtubule (MT)-associated protein (MAP) that localizes to the spindle pole and regulates spindle organization, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we show that WDR62 regulates spindle dynamics by recruiting katanin to the spindle pole and further reveal a TPX2–Aurora A–WDR62–katanin axis in cells. By combining cellular and in vitro experiments, we demonstrate that WDR62 shows preference for curved segments of dynamic GDP-MTs, as well as GMPCPP- and paclitaxel-stabilized MTs, suggesting that it recognizes extended MT lattice. Consistent with this property, WDR62 alone is inefficient in recruiting katanin to GDP-MTs, while WDR62 complexed with TPX2/Aurora A can potently promote katanin-mediated severing of GDP-MTs in vitro. In addition, the MT-binding affinity of WDR62 is autoinhibited through JNK phosphorylation-induced intramolecular interaction. We propose that WDR62 is an atypical MAP and functions as an adaptor protein between its recruiting factor TPX2/Aurora A and the effector katanin to orchestrate the regulation of spindle dynamics.

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