How the cell completely reorganises its architecture when it divides is a problem that has fascinated researchers for almost 150 years. We now know that the core regulatory machinery is highly conserved in eukaryotes but how these multiple protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and ubiquitin ligases are coordinated to remodel the cell in a matter of minutes remains a major question. Cyclin B-CDK is the primary kinase that drives mitotic remodelling and here we show that it is targeted to the nuclear pore complex (NPC) by binding an acidic face of the spindle assembly checkpoint protein, MAD1. This localised Cyclin B1-CDK1 activity coordinates NPC disassembly with kinetochore assembly: it is needed for the proper release of MAD1 from the embrace of TPR at the nuclear pore, which enables MAD1 to be recruited to kinetochores before nuclear envelope breakdown, thereby strengthening the spindle assembly checkpoint to maintain genomic stability.
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