The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO), initially characterized as a suppressor of a mutation in the gene encoding the centromeric protein MIF2, is involved in many aspects of cell cycle regulation. The dynamics of conjugation and deconjugation and the role of SUMO during the cell cycle remain unexplored. Here we used Caenorhabditis elegans to establish the contribution of SUMO to a timely and accurate cell division. Chromatin-associated SUMO conjugates increase during metaphase but decrease rapidly during anaphase. Accumulation of SUMO conjugates on the metaphase plate and proper chromosome alignment depend on the SUMO E2 conjugating enzyme UBC-9 and SUMO E3 ligase PIAS(GEI-17). Deconjugation is achieved by the SUMO protease ULP-4 and is crucial for correct progression through the cell cycle. Moreover, ULP-4 is necessary for Aurora B(AIR-2) extraction from chromatin and relocation to the spindle mid-zone. Our results show that dynamic SUMO conjugation plays a role in cell cycle progression.