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1.  Molecular architecture of a kinetochore–microtubule attachment site 
Nature cell biology  2006;8(6):581-585.
Kinetochore attachment to spindle microtubule plus-ends is necessary for accurate chromosome segregation during cell division in all eukaryotes. The centromeric DNA of each chromosome is linked to microtubule plus-ends by eight structural-protein complexes1–9. Knowing the copy number of each of these complexes at one kinetochore–microtubule attachment site is necessary to understand the molecular architecture of the complex, and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying kinetochore function. We have counted, with molecular accuracy, the number of structural protein complexes in a single kinetochore–microtubule attachment using quantitative fluorescence microscopy of GFP-tagged kinetochore proteins in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We find that relative to the two Cse4p molecules in the centromeric histone1, the copy number ranges from one or two for inner kinetochore proteins such as Mif2p2, to 16 for the DAM–DASH complex8,9 at the kinetochore–microtubule interface. These counts allow us to visualize the overall arrangement of a kinetochore–microtubule attachment. As most of the budding yeast kinetochore proteins have homologues in higher eukaryotes, including humans, this molecular arrangement is likely to be replicated in more complex kinetochores that have multiple microtubule attachments.
PMCID: PMC2867088  PMID: 16715078
2.  The microtubule-based motor Kar3 and plus end–binding protein Bim1 provide structural support for the anaphase spindle 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;180(1):91-100.
In budding yeast, the mitotic spindle is comprised of 32 kinetochore microtubules (kMTs) and ∼8 interpolar MTs (ipMTs). Upon anaphase onset, kMTs shorten to the pole, whereas ipMTs increase in length. Overlapping MTs are responsible for the maintenance of spindle integrity during anaphase. To dissect the requirements for anaphase spindle stability, we introduced a conditionally functional dicentric chromosome into yeast. When centromeres from the same sister chromatid attach to opposite poles, anaphase spindle elongation is delayed and a DNA breakage-fusion-bridge cycle ensues that is dependent on DNA repair proteins. We find that cell survival after dicentric chromosome activation requires the MT-binding proteins Kar3p, Bim1p, and Ase1p. In their absence, anaphase spindles are prone to collapse and buckle in the presence of a dicentric chromosome. Our analysis reveals the importance of Bim1p in maintaining a stable ipMT overlap zone by promoting polymerization of ipMTs during anaphase, whereas Kar3p contributes to spindle stability by cross-linking spindle MTs.
PMCID: PMC2213616  PMID: 18180364
3.  Mps1 Phosphorylation of Dam1 Couples Kinetochores to Microtubule Plus Ends at Metaphase 
Current biology : CB  2006;16(15):1489-1501.
Duplicated chromosomes are equally segregated to daughter cells by a bipolar mitotic spindle during cell division. By metaphase, sister chromatids are coupled to microtubule (MT) plus ends from opposite poles of the bipolar spindle via kinetochores. Here we describe a phosphorylation event that promotes the coupling of kinetochores to microtubule plus ends.
Dam1 is a kinetochore component that directly binds to microtubules. We identified DAM1-765, a dominant allele of DAM1, in a genetic screen for mutations that increase stress on the spindle pole body (SPB) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. DAM1-765 contains the single mutation S221F. We show that S221 is one of six Dam1 serines (S13, S49, S217, S218, S221, and S232) phosphorylated by Mps1 in vitro. In cells with single mutations S221F, S218A, or S221A, kinetochores in the metaphase spindle form tight clusters that are closer to the SPBs than in a wild-type cell. Five lines of experimental evidence, including localization of spindle components by fluorescence microscopy, measurement of microtubule dynamics by fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching, and reconstructions of three-dimensional structure by electron tomography, combined with computational modeling of microtubule behavior strongly indicate that, unlike wild-type kinetochores, Dam1-765 kinetochores do not colocalize with an equal number of plus ends. Despite the uncoupling of the kinetochores from the plus ends of MTs, the DAM1-765 cells are viable, complete the cell cycle with the same kinetics as wild-type cells, and biorient their chromosomes as efficiently as wild-type cells.
We conclude that phosphorylation of Dam1 residues S218 and S221 by Mps1 is required for efficient coupling of kinetochores to MT plus ends. We find that efficient plus-end coupling is not required for (1) maintenance of chromosome biorientation, (2) maintenance of tension between sister kinetochores, or (3) chromosome segregation.
PMCID: PMC1762913  PMID: 16890524
4.  Nuclear congression is driven by cytoplasmic microtubule plus end interactions in S. cerevisiae 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;172(1):27-39.
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.
PMCID: PMC2063526  PMID: 16380440
5.  Rho GTPase regulation of exocytosis in yeast is independent of GTP hydrolysis and polarization of the exocyst complex 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;170(4):583-594.
Rho GTPases are important regulators of polarity in eukaryotic cells. In yeast they are involved in regulating the docking and fusion of secretory vesicles with the cell surface. Our analysis of a Rho3 mutant that is unable to interact with the Exo70 subunit of the exocyst reveals a normal polarization of the exocyst complex as well as other polarity markers. We also find that there is no redundancy between the Rho3–Exo70 and Rho1–Sec3 pathways in the localization of the exocyst. This suggests that Rho3 and Cdc42 act to polarize exocytosis by activating the exocytic machinery at the membrane without the need to first recruit it to sites of polarized growth. Consistent with this model, we find that the ability of Rho3 and Cdc42 to hydrolyze GTP is not required for their role in secretion. Moreover, our analysis of the Sec3 subunit of the exocyst suggests that polarization of the exocyst may be a consequence rather than a cause of polarized exocytosis.
PMCID: PMC2171504  PMID: 16103227
6.  The Differential Roles of Budding Yeast Tem1p, Cdc15p, and Bub2p Protein Dynamics in Mitotic ExitD⃞V⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(4):1519-1532.
In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae the mitotic spindle must be positioned along the mother-bud axis to activate the mitotic exit network (MEN) in anaphase. To examine MEN proteins during mitotic exit, we imaged the MEN activators Tem1p and Cdc15p and the MEN regulator Bub2p in vivo. Quantitative live cell fluorescence microscopy demonstrated the spindle pole body that segregated into the daughter cell (dSPB) signaled mitotic exit upon penetration into the bud. Activation of mitotic exit was associated with an increased abundance of Tem1p-GFP and the localization of Cdc15p-GFP on the dSPB. In contrast, Bub2p-GFP fluorescence intensity decreased in mid-to-late anaphase on the dSPB. Therefore, MEN protein localization fluctuates to switch from Bub2p inhibition of mitotic exit to Cdc15p activation of mitotic exit. The mechanism that elevates Tem1p-GFP abundance in anaphase is specific to dSPB penetration into the bud and Dhc1p and Lte1p promote Tem1p-GFP localization. Finally, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) measurements revealed Tem1p-GFP is dynamic at the dSPB in late anaphase. These data suggest spindle pole penetration into the bud activates mitotic exit, resulting in Tem1p and Cdc15p persistence at the dSPB to initiate the MEN signal cascade.
PMCID: PMC379252  PMID: 14718561

Results 1-6 (6)