Accurate positioning of the mitotic spindle in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is coordinated with the asymmetry of the two poles and requires the microtubule-to-actin linker Kar9p. The asymmetric localization of Kar9p to one spindle pole body (SPB) and microtubule (MT) plus ends requires Cdc28p. Here, we show that the CLIP-170 homologue Bik1p binds directly to Kar9p. In the absence of Bik1p, Kar9p localization is not restricted to the daughter-bound SPB, but it is instead found on both SPBs. Kar9p is hypophosphorylated in bik1Δ mutants, and Bik1p binds to both phosphorylated and unphosphorylated isoforms of Kar9p. Furthermore, the two-hybrid interaction between full-length KAR9 and the cyclin CLB5 requires BIK1. The binding site of Clb5p on Kar9p maps to a short region within the basic domain of Kar9p that contains a conserved phosphorylation site, serine 496. Consistent with this, Kar9p is found on both SPBs in clb5Δ mutants at a frequency comparable with that seen in kar9-S496A strains. Together, these data suggest that Bik1p promotes the phosphorylation of Kar9p on serine 496, which affects its asymmetric localization to one SPB and associated cytoplasmic MTs. These findings provide further insight into a mechanism for directing centrosomal inheritance.
BIK1 function is required for nuclear fusion, chromosome disjunction, and nuclear segregation during mitosis. The BIK1 protein colocalizes with tubulin to the spindle pole body and mitotic spindle. Synthetic lethality observed in double mutant strains containing a mutation in the BIK1 gene and in the gene for alpha- or beta-tubulin is consistent with a physical interaction between BIK1 and tubulin. Furthermore, over- or underexpression of BIK1 causes aberrant microtubule assembly and function, bik1 null mutants are viable but contain very short or undetectable cytoplasmic microtubules. Spindle formation often occurs strictly within the mother cell, probably accounting for the many multinucleate and anucleate bik1 cells. Elevated levels of chromosome loss in bik1 cells are indicative of defective spindle function. Nuclear fusion is blocked in bik1 x bik1 zygotes, which have truncated cytoplasmic microtubules. Cells overexpressing BIK1 initially have abnormally short or nonexistent spindle microtubules and long cytoplasmic microtubules. Subsequently, cells lose all microtubule structures, coincident with the arrest of division. Based on these results, we propose that BIK1 is required stoichiometrically for the formation or stabilization of microtubules during mitosis and for spindle pole body fusion during conjugation.
In many eucaryotic cells, the midzone of the mitotic spindle forms a distinct structure containing a specific set of proteins. We have isolated ASE1, a gene encoding a component of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spindle midzone. Strains lacking both ASE1 and BIK1, which encodes an S. cerevisiae microtubule-associated protein, are inviable. The analysis of the phenotype of a bik1 ase1 conditional double mutant suggests that BIK1 and ASE1 are not required for the assembly of a bipolar spindle, but are essential for anaphase spindle elongation. The steady-state levels of Ase1p are regulated in a manner that is consistent with a function during anaphase: they are low in G1, accumulate to maximal levels after S phase and then drop as cells exit mitosis. Components of the spindle midzone may therefore be required in vivo for anaphase spindle movement. Additionally, anaphase spindle movement may depend on a dedicated set of genes whose expression is induced at G2/M.
KNL targets PP1 to kinetochores, where it antagonizes Aurora B activity.
Regulated interactions between kinetochores and spindle microtubules are essential to maintain genomic stability during chromosome segregation. The Aurora B kinase phosphorylates kinetochore substrates to destabilize kinetochore–microtubule interactions and eliminate incorrect attachments. These substrates must be dephosphorylated to stabilize correct attachments, but how opposing kinase and phosphatase activities are coordinated at the kinetochore is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that a conserved motif in the kinetochore protein KNL1 directly interacts with and targets protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) to the outer kinetochore. PP1 recruitment by KNL1 is required to dephosphorylate Aurora B substrates at kinetochores and stabilize microtubule attachments. PP1 levels at kinetochores are regulated and inversely proportional to local Aurora B activity. Indeed, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of KNL1 by Aurora B disrupts the KNL1–PP1 interaction. In total, our results support a positive feedback mechanism by which Aurora B activity at kinetochores not only targets substrates directly, but also prevents localization of the opposing phosphatase.
The attachment of sister kinetochores by microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles establishes chromosome bipolar attachment, which generates tension on chromosomes and is essential for sister-chromatid segregation. Syntelic attachment occurs when both sister kinetochores are attached by microtubules from the same spindle pole and this attachment is unable to generate tension on chromosomes, but a reliable method to induce syntelic attachments is not available in budding yeast. The spindle checkpoint can sense the lack of tension on chromosomes as well as detached kinetochores to prevent anaphase onset. In budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, tension checkpoint proteins Aurora/Ipl1 kinase and centromere-localized Sgo1 are required to sense the absence of tension but are dispensable for the checkpoint response to detached kinetochores. We have found that the loss of function of a motor protein complex Cik1/Kar3 in budding yeast leads to syntelic attachments. Inactivation of either the spindle or tension checkpoint enables premature anaphase entry in cells with dysfunctional Cik1/Kar3, resulting in co-segregation of sister chromatids. Moreover, the abolished Kar3-kinetochore interaction in cik1 mutants suggests that the Cik1/Kar3 complex mediates chromosome movement along microtubules, which could facilitate bipolar attachment. Therefore, we can induce syntelic attachments in budding yeast by inactivating the Cik1/Kar3 complex, and this approach will be very useful to study the checkpoint response to syntelic attachments.
Chromosome bipolar attachment occurs when sister chromatids are attached by microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles and is essential for faithful sister-chromatid segregation. Chromosomes are under tension once bipolar attachment is established. The absence of tension is sensed by the tension checkpoint that prevents chromosome segregation. The attachment of sister chromatids by microtubules from the same spindle pole generates syntelic attachment, which fails to generate tension on chromosomes. However, a reliable method to induce syntelic attachment is not available. Our findings indicate that the inactivation of the motor complex, Cik1/Kar3, results in chromosomes with syntelic attachment in budding yeast. In the absence of the tension checkpoint, yeast cells with dysfunctional Cik1/Kar3 enter anaphase, resulting in co-segregation of sister chromatids. Therefore, with this method we can experimentally induce syntelic attachment in yeast and investigate how cells respond to this incorrect attachment.
Segregation of sister chromatids to opposite spindle poles during anaphase is dependent on the prior capture of sister kinetochores by microtubules extending from opposite spindle poles (bi-orientation). If sister kinetochores attach to microtubules from the same pole (syntelic attachment), the kinetochore-spindle pole connections must be re-oriented to be converted to proper bi-orientation [1, 2]. This re-orientation is facilitated by Aurora B kinase (Ipl1 in budding yeast), which eliminates kinetochore-spindle pole connections that do not generate tension [3-6]. Mps1 is another evolutionarily conserved protein kinase, required for spindle-assembly checkpoint and, in some organisms, for duplication of microtubule-organizing centers . Separately from these functions, however, Mps1 has an important role in chromosome segregation . Here we show that, in budding yeast, Mps1 has a crucial role in establishing sister-kinetochore bi-orientation on the mitotic spindle. Failure in bi-orientation with inactive Mps1 is not due to a lack of kinetochore-spindle pole connections by microtubules, but due to a defect in properly orienting the connections. Mps1 promotes re-orientation of kinetochore-spindle pole connections and eliminates those that do not generate tension between sister kinetochores. We did not find evidence that Ipl1 regulates Mps1 or vice versa; therefore, they play similar, but possibly independent, roles in facilitating bi-orientation.
Segregation of sister chromatids to opposite spindle poles during anaphase is dependent on the prior capture of sister kinetochores by microtubules extending from opposite spindle poles (bi-orientation). If sister kinetochores attach to microtubules from the same pole (syntelic attachment), the kinetochore-spindle pole connections must be re-oriented to be converted to proper bi-orientation [1, 2]. This re-orientation is facilitated by Aurora B kinase (Ipl1 in budding yeast), which eliminates kinetochore-spindle pole connections that do not generate tension [3–6]. Mps1 is another evolutionarily conserved protein kinase, required for spindle-assembly checkpoint and, in some organisms, for duplication of microtubule-organizing centers . Separately from these functions, however, Mps1 has an important role in chromosome segregation . Here we show that, in budding yeast, Mps1 has a crucial role in establishing sister-kinetochore bi-orientation on the mitotic spindle. Failure in bi-orientation with inactive Mps1 is not due to a lack of kinetochore-spindle pole connections by microtubules, but due to a defect in properly orienting the connections. Mps1 promotes re-orientation of kinetochore-spindle pole connections and eliminates those that do not generate tension between sister kinetochores. We did not find evidence that Ipl1 regulates Mps1 or vice versa; therefore, they play similar, but possibly independent, roles in facilitating bi-orientation.
Kinetochore attachment to the ends of dynamic microtubules is a conserved feature of mitotic spindle organization that is thought to be critical for proper chromosome segregation. Although kinetochores have been described to transition from lateral to end-on attachments, the phase of lateral attachment has been difficult to study in yeast due to its transient nature. We have previously described a kinetochore mutant, DAM1-765, which exhibits lateral attachments and misregulation of microtubule length. Here we show that the misregulation of microtubule length in DAM1-765 cells occurs despite localization of microtubule associated proteins Bik1, Stu2, Cin8, and Kip3 to microtubules. DAM1-765 kinetochores recruit the spindle checkpoint protein Bub1, however Bub1 localization to DAM1-765 kinetochores is not sufficient to cause a cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, the DAM1-765 mutation rescues the temperature sensitivity of a biorientation-deficient ipl1-321 mutant, and DAM1-765 chromosome loss rates are similar to wild-type cells. The spindle checkpoint in DAM1-765 cells responds properly to unattached kinetochores created by nocodazole treatment and loss of tension caused by a cohesin mutant. Progression of DAM1-765 cells through mitosis therefore suggests that satisfaction of the checkpoint depends more highly on biorientation of sister kinetochores than on achievement of a specific interaction between kinetochores and microtubule plus ends.
spindle assembly checkpoint; kinetochore-microtubule attachments; biorientation; DAM1-765
Kinetochore attachment to the ends of dynamic microtubules is a conserved feature of mitotic spindle organization that is thought to be critical for proper chromosome segregation. Although kinetochores have been described to transition from lateral to end-on attachments, the phase of lateral attachment has been difficult to study in yeast due to its transient nature. We have previously described a kinetochore mutant, DAM1-765, which exhibits lateral attachments and misregulation of microtubule length. Here we show that the misregulation of microtubule length in DAM1-765 cells occurs despite localization of microtubule associated proteins Bik1, Stu2, Cin8 and Kip3 to microtubules. DAM1-765 kinetochores recruit the spindle checkpoint protein Bub1, however Bub1 localization to DAM1-765 kinetochores is not sufficient to cause a cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, the DAM1-765 mutation rescues the temperature sensitivity of a biorientationdeficient ipl1-321 mutant, and DAM1-765 chromosome loss rates are similar to wild-type cells. the spindle checkpoint in DAM1-765 cells responds properly to unattached kinetochores created by nocodazole treatment and loss of tension caused by a cohesin mutant. progression of DAM1-765 cells through mitosis therefore suggests that satisfaction of the checkpoint depends more highly on biorientation of sister kinetochores than on achievement of a specific interaction between kinetochores and microtubule plus ends.
spindle assembly checkpoint; kinetochore-microtubule attachments; biorientation; DAM1-765
Kinetochores attach sister chromatids to microtubules of the mitotic spindle and orchestrate chromosome disjunction at anaphase. Although S. cerevisiae has the simplest known kinetochores, they nonetheless contain ∼70 subunits that assemble on centromeric DNA in a hierarchical manner. Developing an accurate picture of the DNA-binding, linker and microtubule-binding layers of kinetochores, including the functions of individual proteins in these layers, is a key challenge in the field of yeast chromosome segregation. Moreover, comparison of orthologous proteins in yeast and humans promises to extend insight obtained from the study of simple fungal kinetochores to complex animal cell kinetochores.
We show that S. cerevisiae Spc105p forms a heterotrimeric complex with Kre28p, the likely orthologue of the metazoan kinetochore protein Zwint-1. Through systematic analysis of interdependencies among kinetochore complexes, focused on Spc105p/Kre28p, we develop a comprehensive picture of the assembly hierarchy of budding yeast kinetochores. We find Spc105p/Kre28p to comprise the third linker complex that, along with the Ndc80 and MIND linker complexes, is responsible for bridging between centromeric heterochromatin and kinetochore MAPs and motors. Like the Ndc80 complex, Spc105p/Kre28p is also essential for kinetochore binding by components of the spindle assembly checkpoint. Moreover, these functions are conserved in human cells.
Spc105p/Kre28p is the last of the core linker complexes to be analyzed in yeast and we show it to be required for kinetochore binding by a discrete subset of kMAPs (Bim1p, Bik1p, Slk19p) and motors (Cin8p, Kar3p), all of which are nonessential. Strikingly, dissociation of these proteins from kinetochores prevents bipolar attachment, even though the Ndc80 and DASH complexes, the two best-studied kMAPs, are still present. The failure of Spc105 deficient kinetochores to bind correctly to spindle microtubules and to recruit checkpoint proteins in yeast and human cells explains the observed severity of missegregation phenotypes.
Repo-Man and Sds22 counteract Aurora B phosphorylation of Dsn1 and thus regulate the kinetochore–microtubule interface during anaphase.
During mitotic spindle assembly, Aurora B kinase is part of an error correction mechanism that detaches microtubules from kinetochores that are under low mechanical tension. During anaphase, however, kinetochore–microtubule attachments must be maintained despite a drop of tension after removal of sister chromatid cohesion. Consistent with this requirement, Aurora B relocates away from chromosomes to the central spindle at the metaphase–anaphase transition. By ribonucleic acid interference screening using a phosphorylation biosensor, we identified two PP1-targeting subunits, Sds22 and Repo-Man, which counteracted Aurora B–dependent phosphorylation of the outer kinetochore component Dsn1 during anaphase. Sds22 or Repo-Man depletion induced transient pauses during poleward chromosome movement and a high incidence of chromosome missegregation. Thus, our study identifies PP1-targeting subunits that regulate the microtubule–kinetochore interface during anaphase for faithful chromosome segregation.
Merotelic kinetochore attachment is a major source of aneuploidy in mammalian tissue cells in culture. Mammalian kinetochores typically have binding sites for about 20–25 kinetochore microtubules. In prometaphase, kinetochores become merotelic if they attach to microtubules from opposite poles rather than to just one pole as normally occurs. Merotelic attachments support chromosome bi-orientation and alignment near the metaphase plate and they are not detected by the mitotic spindle checkpoint. At anaphase onset, sister chromatids separate, but a chromatid with a merotelic kinetochore may not be segregated correctly, and may lag near the spindle equator because of pulling forces toward opposite poles, or move in the direction of the wrong pole. Correction mechanisms are important for preventing segregation errors. There are probably more than 100 times as many PtK1 tissue cells with merotelic kinetochores in early mitosis, and about 16 times as many entering anaphase as the 1% of cells with lagging chromosomes seen in late anaphase. The role of spindle mechanics and potential functions of the Ndc80/Nuf2 protein complex at the kinetochore/microtubule interface is discussed for two correction mechanisms: one that functions before anaphase to reduce the number of kinetochore microtubules to the wrong pole, and one that functions after anaphase onset to move merotelic kinetochores based on the ratio of kinetochore microtubules to the correct versus incorrect pole.
mitosis; microtubule; kinetochore; aneuploidy; Ndc80; chromosome
Chromosome instability is thought to be a major contributor to cancer malignancy and birth defects. For balanced chromosome segregation in mitosis, kinetochores on sister chromatids bind and pull on microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles. This tension contributes to the correction of improper kinetochore attachments and is opposed by the cohesin complex that holds the sister chromatids together. Normally, within minutes of alignment at the metaphase plate, chromatid cohesion is released, allowing each cohort of chromatids to move synchronously to opposite poles in anaphase, an event closely coordinated with mitotic exit.
Here we show that during experimentally induced metaphase delay spindle pulling forces can cause asynchronous chromatid separation, a phenomenon we term “cohesion fatigue.” Cohesion fatigue is not blocked by inhibition of Plk1, a kinase essential for the “prophase pathway” of cohesin release from chromosomes or by depletion of separase, the protease that normally drives chromatid separation at anaphase. Cohesion fatigue is inhibited by drug-induced depolymerization of mitotic spindle microtubules and by experimentally increasing the levels of cohesin on mitotic chromosomes. In cells undergoing cohesion fatigue, cohesin proteins remain associated with the separated chromatids.
In cells arrested at metaphase, pulling forces originating from kinetochore-microtubule interactions can, with time, rupture normal sister chromatid cohesion. This cohesion fatigue, resulting in unscheduled chromatid separation in cells delayed at metaphase, constitutes a previously overlooked source for chromosome instability in mitosis and meiosis.
In meiosis, a physical attachment, or cohesion, between the centromeres of the sister chromatids is retained until their separation at anaphase II. This cohesion is essential for ensuring accurate segregation of the sister chromatids in meiosis II and avoiding aneuploidy, a condition that can lead to prenatal lethality or birth defects. The Drosophila MEI-S332 protein localizes to centromeres when sister chromatids are attached in mitosis and meiosis, and it is required to maintain cohesion at the centromeres after cohesion along the sister chromatid arms is lost at the metaphase I/anaphase I transition. MEI-S332 is the founding member of a family of proteins that protect centromeric cohesion but whose members also affect kinetochore behaviour and spindle microtubule dynamics. We compare the Drosophila MEI-S332 family members, evaluate the role of MEI-S332 in mitosis and meiosis I, and discuss the regulation of localization of MEI-S332 to the centromere and its dissociation at anaphase. We analyse the relationship between MEI-S332 and cohesin, a protein complex that is also necessary for sister-chromatid cohesion in mitosis and meiosis. In mitosis, centromere localization of MEI-S332 is not dependent upon the cohesin complex, and cohesin retains its association with mitotic chromosomes even in the absence of MEI-S332.
meiosis; sister chromatids; centromere; kinetochore; chromosome segregation
Nuclear movement before karyogamy in eukaryotes is known as pronuclear migration or as nuclear congression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this study, S. cerevisiae is used as a model system to study microtubule (MT)-dependent nuclear movements during mating. We find that nuclear congression occurs through the interaction of MT plus ends rather than sliding and extensive MT overlap. Furthermore, the orientation and attachment of MTs to the shmoo tip before cell wall breakdown is not required for nuclear congression. The MT plus end–binding proteins Kar3p, a class 14 COOH-terminal kinesin, and Bik1p, the CLIP-170 orthologue, localize to plus ends in the shmoo tip and initiate MT interactions and depolymerization after cell wall breakdown. These data support a model in which nuclear congression in budding yeast occurs by plus end MT capture and depolymerization, generating forces sufficient to move nuclei through the cytoplasm. This is the first evidence that MT plus end interactions from oppositely oriented organizing centers can provide the force for organelle transport in vivo.
Accurate transmission of the genome through cell division requires microtubules from opposing spindle poles to interact with protein super-structures called kinetochores that assemble on each sister chromatid. Most kinetochores establish erroneous attachments that are destabilized through a process called error correction. Failure to correct improper kinetochore-microtubule (kt-MT) interactions before anaphase onset results in chromosomal instability (CIN), which has been implicated in tumorigenesis and tumor adaptation. Thus, it is important to characterize the molecular basis of error correction to better comprehend how CIN occurs and how it can be modulated. An error correction assay has been previously developed in cultured mammalian cells in which incorrect kt-MT attachments are created through the induction of monopolar spindle assembly via chemical inhibition of kinesin-5. Error correction is then monitored following inhibitor wash out. Implementing the error correction assay in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells would be valuable because kt-MT attachments are easily visualized and the cells are highly amenable to RNAi and high-throughput screening. However, Drosophila kinesin-5 (Klp61F) is unaffected by available small molecule inhibitors. To overcome this limitation, we have rendered S2 cells susceptible to kinesin-5 inhibitors by functionally replacing Klp61F with human kinesin-5 (Eg5). Eg5 expression rescued the assembly of monopolar spindles typically caused by Klp61F depletion. Eg5-mediated bipoles collapsed into monopoles due, in part, to kinesin-14 (Ncd) activity when treated with the kinesin-5 inhibitor S-trityl-L-cysteine (STLC). Furthermore, bipolar spindles reassembled and error correction was observed after STLC wash out. Importantly, error correction in Eg5-expressing S2 cells was dependent on the well-established error correction kinase Aurora B. This system provides a powerful new cell-based platform for studying error correction and CIN.
error correction; kinesin-5; aurora B kinase; kinetochore; spindle; Drosophila
We have employed a novel in vivo approach to study the structure and function of the eukaryotic kinetochore multiprotein complex. RNA interference (RNAi) was used to block the synthesis of centromere protein A (CENP-A) and Clip-170 in human cells. By coexpression, homologous kinetochore proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae were then tested for the ability to complement the RNAi-induced phenotypes. Cse4p, the budding yeast CENP-A homolog, was specifically incorporated into kinetochore nucleosomes and was able to complement RNAi-induced cell cycle arrest in CENP-A-depleted human cells. Thus, Cse4p can structurally and functionally substitute for CENP-A, strongly suggesting that the basic features of centromeric chromatin are conserved between yeast and mammals. Bik1p, the budding yeast homolog of human CLIP-170, also specifically localized to kinetochores during mitosis, but Bik1p did not rescue CLIP-170 depletion-induced cell cycle arrest. Generally, the newly developed in vivo complementation assay provides a powerful new tool for studying the function and evolutionary conservation of multiprotein complexes from yeast to humans.
In animal and yeast cells, the mitotic spindle is aligned perpendicularly to the axis of cell division. This ensures that sister chromatids are separated to opposite sides of the cytokinetic actomyosin ring. In fission yeast, spindle rotation is dependent upon the interaction of astral microtubules with the cortical actin cytoskeleton. In this article, we show that addition of Latrunculin A, which prevents spindle rotation, delays the separation of sister chromatids and anaphase promoting complex-mediated destruction of spindle-associated Securin and Cyclin B. Moreover, we find that whereas sister kinetochore pairs normally congress to the spindle midzone before anaphase onset, this congression is disrupted when astral microtubule contact with the actin cytoskeleton is disturbed. By analyzing the timing of kinetochore separation, we find that this anaphase delay requires the Bub3, Mad3, and Bub1 but not the Mad1 or Mad2 spindle assembly checkpoint proteins. In agreement with this, we find that Bub1 remains associated with kinetochores when spindles are mispositioned. These data indicate that, in fission yeast, astral microtubule contact with the medial cell cortex is monitored by a subset of spindle assembly checkpoint proteins. We propose that this checkpoint ensures spindles are properly oriented before anaphase takes place.
Successful mitosis requires that anaphase chromosomes sustain a commitment to move to their assigned spindle poles. This requires stable spindle attachment of anaphase kinetochores. Prior to anaphase, stable spindle attachment depends on tension created by opposing forces on sister kinetochores . Because tension is lost when kinetochores disjoin, stable attachment in anaphase must have a different basis. After expression of nondegradable cyclin B (CYC-BS) in Drosophila embryos, sister chromosomes disjoined normally but their anaphase behavior was abnormal . Chromosomes exhibited cycles of reorientation from one pole to the other. Additionally, the unpaired kinetochores accumulated attachments to both poles (merotelic attachments), congressed (again) to a pseudometaphase plate, and reacquired associations with checkpoint proteins more characteristic of prometaphase kinetochores. Unpaired prometaphase kinetochores, which occurred in a mutant entering mitosis with unreplicated (unpaired) chromosomes, behaved just like the anaphase kinetochores at the CYC-BS arrest. Finally, the normal anaphase release of AuroraB/INCENP from kinetochores was blocked by CYC-BS expression and, reciprocally, was advanced in a CycB mutant. Given its established role in destabilizing kinetochore-microtubule interactions , Aurora B dissociation is likely to be key to the change in kinetochore behavior. These findings show that, in addition to loss of sister chromosome cohesion, successful anaphase requires a kinetochore behavioral transition triggered by CYC-B destruction.
A minimal mathematical model based on stochastic attachment and detachment of kinetochore microtubules accurately reproduces both normal and abnormal chromosome segregation in fission yeast.
In fission yeast, erroneous attachments of spindle microtubules to kinetochores are frequent in early mitosis. Most are corrected before anaphase onset by a mechanism involving the protein kinase Aurora B, which destabilizes kinetochore microtubules (ktMTs) in the absence of tension between sister chromatids. In this paper, we describe a minimal mathematical model of fission yeast chromosome segregation based on the stochastic attachment and detachment of ktMTs. The model accurately reproduces the timing of correct chromosome biorientation and segregation seen in fission yeast. Prevention of attachment defects requires both appropriate kinetochore orientation and an Aurora B–like activity. The model also reproduces abnormal chromosome segregation behavior (caused by, for example, inhibition of Aurora B). It predicts that, in metaphase, merotelic attachment is prevented by a kinetochore orientation effect and corrected by an Aurora B–like activity, whereas in anaphase, it is corrected through unbalanced forces applied to the kinetochore. These unbalanced forces are sufficient to prevent aneuploidy.
Accurate chromosome segregation depends on the proper attachment of sister kinetochores to microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles. Merotelic kinetochore orientation is an error in which a single kinetochore is attached to microtubules emanating from both spindle poles. Despite correction mechanisms, merotelically attached kinetochores can persist until anaphase, causing chromatids to lag on the mitotic spindle and hindering their timely segregation. Recent studies showing that merotelic kinetochore attachment represents a major mechanism of aneuploidy in mitotic cells and is the primary mechanism of chromosomal instability in cancer cells have underlined the importance of studying merotely. Here, we highlight recent progress in our understanding of how cells prevent and correct merotelic kinetochore attachments.
Bim1 promotes microtubule assembly in vitro, primarily by decreasing the frequency of catastrophes. In contrast, Bik1 inhibits microtubule assembly by slowing growth and, consequently, promoting catastrophes. These proteins interact to form a complex that affects microtubule dynamics in much the same way as Bim1 alone.
Microtubule dynamics are regulated by plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs), which bind microtubule ends and influence their polymerization properties. In addition to binding microtubules, most +TIPs physically associate with other +TIPs, creating a complex web of interactions. To fully understand how +TIPs regulate microtubule dynamics, it is essential to know the intrinsic biochemical activities of each +TIP and how +TIP interactions affect these activities. Here, we describe the activities of Bim1 and Bik1, two +TIP proteins from budding yeast and members of the EB1 and CLIP-170 families, respectively. We find that purified Bim1 and Bik1 form homodimers that interact with each other to form a tetramer. Bim1 binds along the microtubule lattice but with highest affinity for the microtubule end; however, Bik1 requires Bim1 for localization to the microtubule lattice and end. In vitro microtubule polymerization assays show that Bim1 promotes microtubule assembly, primarily by decreasing the frequency of catastrophes. In contrast, Bik1 inhibits microtubule assembly by slowing growth and, consequently, promoting catastrophes. Interestingly, the Bim1-Bik1 complex affects microtubule dynamics in much the same way as Bim1 alone. These studies reveal new activities for EB1 and CLIP-170 family members and demonstrate how interactions between two +TIP proteins influence their activities.
The two yeast members of the CLIP-170/Bik1p and Lis1/Pac1p families of microtubule-associated proteins are shown to interact with the sumoylation machinery and the STUbL complex Ris1p–Nis1p. Pac1p can be modified by both SUMO and ubiquitin. The She1 regulator of dynactin is identified as a novel inhibitor of Pac1p modification.
Microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins are fundamental for multiple cellular processes, including mitosis and intracellular motility, but the factors that control microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are poorly understood. Here we show that two MAPs—the CLIP-170 homologue Bik1p and the Lis1 homologue Pac1p—interact with several proteins in the sumoylation pathway. Bik1p and Pac1p interact with Smt3p, the yeast SUMO; Ubc9p, an E2; and Nfi1p, an E3. Bik1p interacts directly with SUMO in vitro, and overexpression of Smt3p and Bik1p results in its in vivo sumoylation. Modified Pac1p is observed when the SUMO protease Ulp1p is inactivated. Both ubiquitin and Smt3p copurify with Pac1p. In contrast to ubiquitination, sumoylation does not directly tag the substrate for degradation. However, SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligases (STUbLs) can recognize a sumoylated substrate and promote its degradation via ubiquitination and the proteasome. Both Pac1p and Bik1p interact with the STUbL Nis1p-Ris1p and the protease Wss1p. Strains deleted for RIS1 or WSS1 accumulate Pac1p conjugates. This suggests a novel model in which the abundance of these MAPs may be regulated via STUbLs. Pac1p modification is also altered by Kar9p and the dynein regulator She1p. This work has implications for the regulation of dynein's interaction with various cargoes, including its off-loading to the cortex.
The interaction of kinetochores with dynamic microtubules during mitosis is essential for proper centromere motility, congression to the metaphase plate, and subsequent anaphase chromosome segregation. Budding yeast has been critical in the discovery of proteins necessary for this interaction. However, the molecular mechanism for microtubule–kinetochore interactions remains poorly understood. Using live cell imaging and mutations affecting microtubule binding proteins and kinetochore function, we identify a regulatory mechanism for spindle microtubule dynamics involving Stu2p and the core kinetochore component, Ndc10p. Depleting cells of the microtubule binding protein Stu2p reduces kinetochore microtubule dynamics. Centromeres remain under tension but lack motility. Thus, normal microtubule dynamics are not required to maintain tension at the centromere. Loss of the kinetochore (ndc10-1, ndc10-2, and ctf13-30) does not drastically affect spindle microtubule turnover, indicating that Stu2p, not the kinetochore, is the foremost governor of microtubule dynamics. Disruption of kinetochore function with ndc10-1 does not affect the decrease in microtubule turnover in stu2 mutants, suggesting that the kinetochore is not required for microtubule stabilization. Remarkably, a partial kinetochore defect (ndc10-2) suppresses the decreased spindle microtubule turnover in the absence of Stu2p. These results indicate that Stu2p and Ndc10p differentially function in controlling kinetochore microtubule dynamics necessary for centromere movements.
Mad2 is an essential component of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), a molecular device designed to coordinate anaphase onset with the completion of chromosome attachment to the spindle. Capture of chromosome by microtubules occur on protein scaffolds known as kinetochores. The SAC proteins are recruited to kinetochores in prometaphase where they generate a signal that halts anaphase until all sister chromatid pairs are bipolarly oriented. Mad2 is a subunit of the mitotic checkpoint complex, which is regarded as the effector of the spindle checkpoint. Its function is the sequestration of Cdc20, a protein required for progression into anaphase. The function of Mad2 in the checkpoint correlates with a dramatic conformational rearrangement of the Mad2 protein. Mad2 adopts a closed conformation (C-Mad2) when bound to Cdc20, and an open conformation (O-Mad2) when unbound to this ligand. Checkpoint activation promotes the conversion of O-Mad2 to Cdc20-bound C-Mad2. We show that this conversion requires a C-Mad2 template and we identify this in Mad1-bound Mad2. In our proposition, Mad1-bound C-Mad2 recruits O-Mad2 to kinetochores, stimulating Cdc20 capture, implying that O-Mad2 and C-Mad2 form dimers. We discuss Mad2 oligomerization and link our discoveries to previous observations related to Mad2 oligomerization.
spindle checkpoint; Mad1; Mad2; Cdc20; metaphase; kinetochore