Aurora B phosphorylates spatially distinct targets to differentially regulate the kinetochore-microtubule interface.
ABSTRACT: Accurate chromosome segregation requires carefully regulated interactions between kinetochores and microtubules, but how plasticity is achieved to correct diverse attachment defects remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that Aurora B kinase phosphorylates three spatially distinct targets within the conserved outer kinetochore KNL1/Mis12 complex/Ndc80 complex (KMN) network, the key player in kinetochore-microtubule attachments. The combinatorial phosphorylation of the KMN network generates graded levels of microtubule-binding activity, with full phosphorylation severely compromising microtubule binding. Altering the phosphorylation state of each protein causes corresponding chromosome segregation defects. Importantly, the spatial distribution of these targets along the kinetochore axis leads to their differential phosphorylation in response to changes in tension and attachment state. In total, rather than generating exclusively binary changes in microtubule binding, our results suggest a mechanism for the tension-dependent fine-tuning of kinetochore-microtubule interactions.
Project description:Spindle assembly checkpoint proteins have been thought to reside in the peripheral corona region of the kinetochore, distal to microtubule attachment sites at the outer plate. However, recent biochemical evidence indicates that checkpoint proteins are closely linked to the core kinetochore microtubule attachment site comprised of the Knl1-Mis12-Ndc80 (KMN) complexes/KMN network. In this paper, we show that the Knl1-Zwint1 complex is required to recruit the Rod-Zwilch-Zw10 (RZZ) and Mad1-Mad2 complexes to the outer kinetochore. Consistent with this, nanometer-scale mapping indicates that RZZ, Mad1-Mad2, and the C terminus of the dynein recruitment factor Spindly are closely juxtaposed with the KMN network in metaphase cells when their dissociation is blocked and the checkpoint is active. In contrast, the N terminus of Spindly is ?75 nm outside the calponin homology domain of the Ndc80 complex. These results reveal how checkpoint proteins are integrated within the substructure of the kinetochore and will aid in understanding the coordination of microtubule attachment and checkpoint signaling during chromosome segregation.
Project description:The kinetochore provides a vital connection between chromosomes and spindle microtubules [1, 2]. Defining the molecular architecture of the core kinetochore components is critical for understanding the mechanisms by which the kinetochore directs chromosome segregation. The KNL1/Mis12 complex/Ndc80 complex (KMN) network acts as the primary microtubule-binding interface at kinetochores  and provides a platform to recruit regulatory proteins . Recent work found that the inner kinetochore components CENP-C and CENP-T act in parallel to recruit the KMN network to kinetochores [5-8]. However, due to the presence of these dual pathways, it has not been possible to distinguish differences in the nature of kinetochore assembly downstream of CENP-C or CENP-T. Here, we separated these pathways by targeting CENP-C and CENP-T independently to an ectopic chromosomal locus in human cells. Our work reveals that the organization of the KMN network components downstream of CENP-C and CENP-T is distinct. CENP-C recruits the Ndc80 complex through its interactions with KNL1 and the Mis12 complex. In contrast, CENP-T directly interacts with Ndc80, which in turn promotes KNL1/Mis12 complex recruitment through a separate region on CENP-T, resulting in functional relationships for KMN network localization that are inverted relative to the CENP-C pathway. We also find that distinct regulatory paradigms control the assembly of these pathways, with Aurora B kinase promoting KMN network recruitment to CENP-C and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) regulating KMN network recruitment to CENP-T. This work reveals unexpected complexity for the architecture and regulation of the core components of the kinetochore-microtubule interface.
Project description:Kinetochores are superprotein complexes that orchestrate chromosome segregation via a dynamic interaction with spindle microtubules. A physical connection between CENP-C and the Mis12-Ndc80-Knl1 (KMN) protein network is an important pathway that is used to assemble kinetochores on CENP-A nucleosomes. Multiple outer kinetochore components are phosphorylated by Aurora B kinase to activate the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and to ensure accurate chromosome segregation. However, it is unknown whether Aurora B can phosphorylate inner kinetochore components to facilitate proper mitotic chromosome segregation. Here, we reported the structure of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mis12-Nnf1 complex and showed that N-terminal residues 26-50 in Cnp3 (the CENP-C homolog of S. pombe) are responsible for interacting with the Mis12 complex. Interestingly, Thr28 of Cnp3 is a substrate of Ark1 (the Aurora B homolog of S. pombe), and phosphorylation impairs the interaction between the Cnp3 and Mis12 complex. The expression of a phosphorylation-mimicking Cnp3 mutant results in defective chromosome segregation due to improper kinetochore assembly. These results establish a previously uncharacterized regulatory mechanism involved in CENP-C-Mis12-facilitated kinetochore attachment error correction to ensure accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis.
Project description:Dynamic coupling of microtubule ends to kinetochores, built on the centromeres of chromosomes, directs chromosome segregation during cell division. Here, we report that the evolutionarily ancient kinetochore-microtubule coupling machine, the KMN (Knl1/Mis12/Ndc80-complex) network, plays a critical role in neuronal morphogenesis. We show that the KMN network concentrates in microtubule-rich dendrites of developing sensory neurons that collectively extend in a multicellular morphogenetic event that occurs during C. elegans embryogenesis. Post-mitotic degradation of KMN components in sensory neurons disrupts dendritic extension, leading to patterning and functional defects in the sensory nervous system. Structure-guided mutations revealed that the molecular interface that couples kinetochores to spindle microtubules also functions in neuronal development. These results identify a cell-division-independent function for the chromosome-segregation machinery and define a microtubule-coupling-dependent event in sensory nervous system morphogenesis.
Project description:During mitosis, the spindle checkpoint senses kinetochores not properly attached to spindle microtubules and prevents precocious sister-chromatid separation and aneuploidy. The constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN) at inner kinetochores anchors the KMN network consisting of Knl1, the Mis12 complex (Mis12C), and the Ndc80 complex (Ndc80C) at outer kinetochores. KMN is a critical kinetochore receptor for both microtubules and checkpoint proteins. Here, we show that nearly complete inactivation of KMN in human cells through multiple strategies produced strong checkpoint defects even when all kinetochores lacked microtubule attachment. These KMN-inactivating strategies reveal multiple KMN assembly mechanisms at human mitotic kinetochores. In one mechanism, the centromeric kinase Aurora B phosphorylates Mis12C and strengthens its binding to the CCAN subunit CENP-C. In another, CENP-T contributes to KMN attachment in a CENP-H-I-K-dependent manner. Our study provides insights into the mechanisms of mitosis-specific assembly of the checkpoint platform KMN at human kinetochores.
Project description:The Ndc80 complex, which mediates end-on attachment of spindle microtubules, is linked to centromeric chromatin in human cells by two inner kinetochore proteins, CENP-T and CENP-C. Here to quantify their relative contributions to Ndc80 recruitment, we combine measurements of kinetochore protein copy number with selective protein depletion assays. This approach reveals about 244 Ndc80 complexes per human kinetochore (?14 per kinetochore microtubule), 215 CENP-C, 72 CENP-T and only 151 Ndc80s as part of the KMN protein network (1:1:1 Knl1, Mis12 and Ndc80 complexes). Each CENP-T molecule recruits ?2 Ndc80 complexes; one as part of a KMN network. In contrast, ?40% of CENP-C recruits only a KMN network. Replacing the CENP-C domain that binds KMN with the CENP-T domain that recruits both an Ndc80 complex and KMN network yielded functional kinetochores. These results provide a quantitative picture of the linkages between centromeric chromatin and the microtubule-binding Ndc80 complex at the human kinetochore.
Project description:The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) arrests cells in mitosis by sensing unattached kinetochores, until all chromosomes are bi-oriented by spindle microtubules. Kinetochore accumulation of the SAC component Mad1-Mad2 is crucial for SAC activation. However, the mechanism by which Mad1-Mad2 accumulation at kinetochores is regulated is not clear. Here we find that Cep57 is localized to kinetochores in human cells, and binds to Mis12, a KMN (KNL1/Mis12 complex/Ndc80 complex) network component. Cep57 also interacts with Mad1, and depletion of Cep57 results in decreased kinetochore localization of Mad1-Mad2, reduced SAC signalling and increased chromosome segregation errors. We also show that the microtubule-binding activity of Cep57 is involved in the timely removal of Mad1 from kinetochores. Thus, these findings reveal that the KMN network-binding protein Cep57 is a mitotic kinetochore component, and demonstrate the functional connection between the KMN network and the SAC.
Project description:Kinetochores are multi-protein machines that form dynamic attachments to microtubules and control chromosome segregation. High fidelity is ensured because kinetochores can monitor attachment status and tension, using this information to activate checkpoints and error-correction mechanisms. To explore how kinetochores achieve this, we used two- and three-color subpixel fluorescence localization to define how proteins from six major complexes (CCAN, MIS12, NDC80, KNL1, RZZ, and SKA) and the checkpoint proteins Bub1, Mad1, and Mad2 are organized in the human kinetochore. This reveals how the outer kinetochore has a high nematic order and is largely invariant to the loss of attachment or tension, except for two mechanical sensors. First, Knl1 unravels to relay tension, and second, NDC80 undergoes jackknifing and loss of nematic order under microtubule detachment, with only the latter wired up to the checkpoint signaling system. This provides insight into how kinetochores integrate mechanical signals to promote error-free chromosome segregation.
Project description:Kinetochores attach the replicated chromosomes to the mitotic spindle and orchestrate their transmission to the daughter cells. Kinetochore-spindle binding and chromosome segregation are mediated by the multi-copy KNL1(Spc105), MIS12(Mtw1) and NDC80(Ndc80) complexes that form the so-called KMN network. KMN-spindle attachment is regulated by the Aurora B(Ipl1) and MPS1(Mps1) kinases. It is unclear whether other mechanisms exist that support KMN activity during the cell cycle. Using budding yeast, we show that kinetochore protein Cnn1 localizes to the base of the Ndc80 complex and promotes a functionally competent configuration of the KMN network. Cnn1 regulates KMN activity in a spatiotemporal manner by inhibiting the interaction between its complexes. Cnn1 activity peaks in anaphase and is driven by the Cdc28, Mps1 and Ipl1 kinases.
Project description:During meiosis, the kinetochore undergoes substantial reorganization to establish monopolar spindle attachment. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the KNL1-Spc7-Mis12-Nuf2 (KMN) complex, which constitutes the outer kinetochore, is disassembled during meiotic prophase and is reassembled before meiosis I. Here, we show that the nucleoporin Nup132 is required for timely assembly of the KMN proteins: In the absence of Nup132, Mis12 and Spc7 are precociously assembled at the centromeres during meiotic prophase. In contrast, Nuf2 shows timely dissociation and reappearance at the meiotic centromeres. We further demonstrate that depletion of Nup132 activates the spindle assembly checkpoint in meiosis I, possibly because of the increased incidence of erroneous spindle attachment at sister chromatids. These results suggest that precocious assembly of the kinetochores leads to the meiosis I defects observed in the nup132-disrupted mutant. Thus, we propose that Nup132 plays an important role in establishing monopolar spindle attachment at meiosis I through outer kinetochore reorganization at meiotic prophase.