CENP-U Cooperates with Hec1 to Orchestrate Kinetochore-Microtubule Attachment

Anhui Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics and Chemical Biology, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Nanoscale, Hefei 230027, China.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 11/2010; 286(2):1627-38. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.174946
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Here we analysed the CENP-O class protein packaging at kinetochores in living human cells by measuring which proteins are in close proximity. We tagged all five CENP-O class proteins with fluorescent proteins, either EGFP or mCherry, at either termini, and confirmed by live cell imaging in human U2OS cells that all tagged CENP-O class proteins localise to kinetochores during interphase and mitosis, consistent with published results [5], [6], [10], [33], [36], [39]. This kinetochore localisation was independent of which terminus of the CENP proteins was tagged. "
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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 09/2012; 7(9):e44717. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0044717 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "More specifically, mitotic modulation might occur on the basis of the hyperphosphorylation that had occurred during G1/S progression. Chicken CENP-H and human CENP-U were shown to interact with Hec1/Ndc80, a kinetochore component [53], [54]. Dad1 that directly interacts with microtubule coprecipitated with the subunits of the S. pombe Mis6 complex as shown in Liu et al. [28] and the present study. "
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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 · 3.23 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 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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