Mitosis: Short-Circuiting Spindle Checkpoint Signaling

Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
Current biology: CB (Impact Factor: 9.57). 02/2012; 22(4):R128-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.01.018
Source: PubMed


The spindle checkpoint forms an intricate signaling circuit to sense unattached kinetochores, to inhibit the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), and to delay anaphase onset. Using clever genetic experiments in the budding yeast, Lau and Murray define the endpoint of checkpoint signaling and provide key mechanistic insights into checkpoint inhibition of APC/C.

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    ABSTRACT: Maintenance of genomic stability during eukaryotic cell division relies on the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) that prevents mitotic exit until all chromosomes are properly attached to the spindle. Polo is a mitotic kinase proposed to be involved in SAC function, but its role has remained elusive. We demonstrate that Polo and Aurora B functional interdependency comprises a positive feedback loop that promotes Mps1 kinetochore localization and activity. Expression of constitutively active Polo restores normal Mps1 kinetochore levels even after Aurora B inhibition, highlighting a role for Polo in Mps1 recruitment to unattached kinetochores downstream of Aurora B. We also show that Mps1 kinetochore localization is required for BubR1 hyperphosphorylation and formation of the 3F3/2 phosphoepitope. This is essential to allow recruitment of Cdc20 to unattached kinetochores and the assembly of anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome-inhibitory complexes to levels that ensure long-term SAC activity. We propose a model in which Polo controls Mps1-dependent BubR1 phosphorylation to promote Cdc20 kinetochore recruitment and sustained SAC function.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · The EMBO Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Maintenance of genomic stability during eukaryotic cell division relies on the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC), which has evolved as a surveillance mechanism that monitors kinetochore-microtubule attachment and prevents APC/C-mediated mitotic exit until all chromosomes are properly attached to the mitotic spindle. Reversible protein phosphorylation has long been accredited as a regulatory mechanism of the SAC. Nevertheless, knowledge of how several mitotic kinases act in concert within the signaling pathway to orchestrate SAC function is still emerging. In a recent study, we undertook a comprehensive dissection of the hierarchical framework controlling SAC function in Drosophila cells. We found that Polo lies at the top of the SAC pathway promoting the efficient recruitment of Mps1 to unattached kinetochores. This renders Mps1 fully active to control BubR1 phosphorylation that generates the 3F3/2 phosphoepitope at tensionless kinetochores. We have proposed that Polo is required for SAC function and that the molecular outcome of Mps1-dependent 3F3/2 formation is to promote the association of Cdc20 with BubR1 allowing proper kinetochore recruitment of Cdc20 and efficient assembly of the Mitotic Checkpoint Complex (MCC) required for a sustained SAC response.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Fly
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    ABSTRACT: The spindle checkpoint ensures accurate chromosome segregation by monitoring kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Unattached or tensionless kinetochores activate the checkpoint and enhance the production of the mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC) consisting of BubR1, Bub3, Mad2, and Cdc20. MCC is a critical checkpoint inhibitor of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), a ubiquitin ligase required for anaphase onset. The N-terminal region of BubR1 binds to both Cdc20 and Mad2, thus nucleating MCC formation. The middle region of human BubR1 (BubR1M) also interacts with Cdc20, but the nature and function of this interaction are not understood. Here we identify two critical motifs within BubR1M that contribute to Cdc20 binding and APC/C inhibition: a destruction box (D box) and a phenylalanine-containing motif termed the Phe box. A BubR1 mutant lacking these motifs is defective in MCC maintenance in mitotic human cells, but is capable of supporting spindle-checkpoint function. Thus, the BubR1M-Cdc20 interaction indirectly contributes to MCC homeostasis. Its apparent dispensability in the spindle checkpoint might be due to functional duality or redundant, competing mechanisms. Copyright © 2014, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry