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 03/2011; 6(3):e17761. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0017761 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: At the onset of mitosis, cells need to break down their nuclear envelope, form a bipolar spindle and attach the chromosomes to microtubules via kinetochores. Previous studies have shown that spindle bipolarization can occur either before or after nuclear envelope breakdown. In the latter case, early kinetochore-microtubule attachments generate pushing forces that accelerate centrosome separation. However, until now, the physiological relevance of this prometaphase kinetochore pushing force was unknown. We investigated the depletion phenotype of the kinetochore protein CENP-L, which we find to be essential for the stability of kinetochore microtubules, for a homogenous poleward microtubule flux rate and for the kinetochore pushing force. Loss of this force in prometaphase not only delays centrosome separation by 5-6 minutes, it also causes massive chromosome alignment and segregation defects due to the formation of syntelic and merotelic kinetochore-microtubule attachments. By contrast, CENP-L depletion has no impact on mitotic progression in cells that have already separated their centrosomes at nuclear envelope breakdown. We propose that the kinetochore pushing force is an essential safety mechanism that favors amphitelic attachments by ensuring that spindle bipolarization occurs before the formation of the majority of kinetochore-microtubule attachments.Journal of Cell Science 03/2012; 125(Pt 4):906-18. DOI:10.1242/jcs.091967 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Chromosomal Passenger Complex (CPC) consisting of Aurora B kinase, INCENP, Survivin and Borealin, is essential for genomic stability by controlling multiple processes during both nuclear and cytoplasmic division. In mitosis it ensures accurate segregation of the duplicated chromosomes by regulating the mitotic checkpoint, destabilizing incorrectly attached spindle microtubules and by promoting the axial shortening of chromosomal arms in anaphase. During cytokinesis the CPC most likely prevents chromosome damage by imposing an abscission delay when a chromosome bridge connects the two daughter cells. Moreover, by controlling proper cytoplasmic division, the CPC averts tetraploidization. This review describes recent insights on how the CPC is capable of conducting its various functions in the dividing cell to ensure chromosomal stability.Experimental Cell Research 03/2012; 318(12):1407-20. DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.03.015 · 3.37 Impact Factor