CENP-U cooperates with Hec1 to orchestrate kinetochore-microtubule attachment.
ABSTRACT Mitosis is an orchestration of dynamic interaction between chromosomes and spindle microtubules by which genomic materials are equally distributed into two daughter cells. Previous studies showed that CENP-U is a constitutive centromere component essential for proper chromosome segregation. However, the precise molecular mechanism has remained elusive. Here, we identified CENP-U as a novel interacting partner of Hec1, an evolutionarily conserved kinetochore core component essential for chromosome plasticity. Suppression of CENP-U by shRNA resulted in mitotic defects with an impaired kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Interestingly, CENP-U not only binds microtubules directly but also displays a cooperative microtubule binding activity with Hec1 in vitro. Furthermore, we showed that CENP-U is a substrate of Aurora-B. Importantly, phosphorylation of CENP-U leads to reduced kinetochore-microtubule interaction, which contributes to the error-correcting function of Aurora-B. Taken together, our results indicate that CENP-U is a novel microtubule binding protein and plays an important role in kinetochore-microtubule attachment through its interaction with Hec1.
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ABSTRACT: The centromere is the chromosome domain on which the mitotic kinetochore forms for proper segregation. Deposition of the centromeric histone H3 (CenH3, CENP-A) is vital for the formation of centromere-specific chromatin. The Mis6-Mal2-Sim4 complex of the fission yeast S. pombe is required for the recruitment of CenH3 (Cnp1), but its function remains obscure. Mass spectrometry was performed on the proteins precipitated with Mis6- and Mis17-FLAG. The results together with the previously identified Sim4- and Mal2-TAP precipitated proteins indicated that the complex contains 12 subunits, Mis6, Sim4, Mal2, Mis15, Mis17, Cnl2, Fta1-4, Fta6-7, nine of which have human centromeric protein (CENP) counterparts. Domain dissection indicated that the carboxy-half of Mis17 is functional, while its amino-half is regulatory. Overproduction of the amino-half caused strong negative dominance, which led to massive chromosome missegregation and hypersensitivity to the histone deacetylase inhibitor TSA. Mis17 was hyperphosphorylated and overproduction-induced negative dominance was abolished in six kinase-deletion mutants, ssp2 (AMPK), ppk9 (AMPK), ppk15 (Yak1), ppk30 (Ark1), wis4 (Ssk2), and lsk1 (P-TEFb). Mis17 may be a regulatory module of the Mis6 complex. Negative dominance of the Mis17 fragment is exerted while the complex and CenH3 remain at the centromere, a result that differs from the mislocalization seen in the mis17-362 mutant. The known functions of the kinases suggest an unexpected link between Mis17 and control of the cortex actin, nutrition, and signal/transcription. Possible interpretations are discussed.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17761. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Myeloid leukemia factor 1-interacting protein (MLF1-IP) has been found to exert functions in mitosis, although studies have been conducted only in cell lines up to now. To understand its roles during ontogeny and immunity, we analyzed its mRNA expression pattern by in situ hybridization and generated MLF1-IP gene knockout (KO) mice. MLF1-IP was expressed at elevated levels in most rudimentary tissues during the mid-gestation stage, between embryonic day 9.5 (e9.5) and e15.5. It declined afterwards in these tissues, but was very high in the testes and ovaries in adulthood. At post-natal day 10 (p10), the retina and cerebellum still expressed moderate MLF1-IP levels, although these tissues do not contain fast-proliferating cells at this stage. MLF1-IP expression in lymphoid organs, such as the thymus, lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow, was high between e15.5 and p10, and decreased in adulthood. MLF1-IP KO embryos failed to develop beyond e6.5. On the other hand, MLF1-IP(+/-) mice were alive and fertile, with no obvious anomalies. Lymphoid organ size, weight, cellularity and cell sub-populations in MLF1-IP(+/-) mice were in the normal range. The functions of MLF1-IP(+/-) T cells and naïve CD4 cells, in terms of TCR-stimulated proliferation and Th1, Th17 and Treg cell differentiation in vitro, were comparable to those of wild type T cells. Our study demonstrates that MLF1-IP performs unique functions during mouse embryonic development, particularly around e6.5, when there was degeneration of epiblasts. However, the cells could proliferate dozens of rounds without MLF1-IP. MLF1-IP expression at about 50% of its normal level is sufficient to sustain mice life and the development of their immune system without apparent abnormalities. Our results also raise an intriguing question that MLF1-IP might have additional functions unrelated to cell proliferation.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e63783. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Kinetochores are multi-protein megadalton assemblies that are required for attachment of microtubules to centromeres and, in turn, the segregation of chromosomes in mitosis. Kinetochore assembly is a cell cycle regulated multi-step process. The initial step occurs during interphase and involves loading of the 15-subunit constitutive centromere associated complex (CCAN), which contains a 5-subunit (CENP-P/O/R/Q/U) sub-complex. Here we show using a fluorescent three-hybrid (F3H) assay and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) in living mammalian cells that CENP-P/O/R/Q/U subunits exist in a tightly packed arrangement that involves multifold protein-protein interactions. This sub-complex is, however, not pre-assembled in the cytoplasm, but rather assembled on kinetochores through the step-wise recruitment of CENP-O/P heterodimers and the CENP-P, -O, -R, -Q and -U single protein units. SNAP-tag experiments and immuno-staining indicate that these loading events occur during S-phase in a manner similar to the nucleosome binding components of the CCAN, CENP-T/W/N. Furthermore, CENP-P/O/R/Q/U binding to the CCAN is largely mediated through interactions with the CENP-N binding protein CENP-L as well as CENP-K. Once assembled, CENP-P/O/R/Q/U exchanges slowly with the free nucleoplasmic pool indicating a low off-rate for individual CENP-P/O/R/Q/U subunits. Surprisingly, we then find that during late S-phase, following the kinetochore-binding step, both CENP-Q and -U but not -R undergo oligomerization. We propose that CENP-P/O/R/Q/U self-assembles on kinetochores with varying stoichiometry and undergoes a pre-mitotic maturation step that could be important for kinetochores switching into the correct conformation necessary for microtubule-attachment.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e44717. · 3.73 Impact Factor