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Mol Biol Cell. 2011 Jul 15;22(14):2448-57. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E09-01-0029. Epub 2011 May 18.

Reduced Mad2 expression keeps relaxed kinetochores from arresting budding yeast in mitosis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Chromosome segregation depends on the spindle checkpoint, which delays anaphase until all chromosomes have bound microtubules and have been placed under tension. The Mad1-Mad2 complex is an essential component of the checkpoint. We studied the consequences of removing one copy of MAD2 in diploid cells of the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Compared to MAD2/MAD2 cells, MAD2/mad2Δ heterozygotes show increased chromosome loss and have different responses to two insults that activate the spindle checkpoint: MAD2/mad2Δ cells respond normally to antimicrotubule drugs but cannot respond to chromosomes that lack tension between sister chromatids. In MAD2/mad2Δ cells with normal sister chromatid cohesion, removing one copy of MAD1 restores the checkpoint and returns chromosome loss to wild-type levels. We conclude that cells need the normal Mad2:Mad1 ratio to respond to chromosomes that are not under tension.

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