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J Cell Sci. 2001 Dec;114(Pt 24):4385-95.

Kinetochore localisation and phosphorylation of the mitotic checkpoint components Bub1 and BubR1 are differentially regulated by spindle events in human cells.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, 2.205 Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.


BUB1 is a budding yeast gene required to ensure that progression through mitosis is coupled to correct spindle assembly. Two related human protein kinases, Bub1 and BubR1, both localise to kinetochores during mitosis, suggesting that they play a role in delaying anaphase until all chromosomes achieve correct, bipolar attachment to the spindle. However, how the activities of Bub1 and BubR1 are regulated by spindle events and how their activities regulate downstream cell cycle events is not known. To investigate how spindle events regulate Bub1 and BubR1, we characterised their relative localisations during mitosis in the presence and absence of microtubule toxins. In prometaphase cells, both kinases colocalise to the same domain of the kinetochore. However, whereas the localisation of BubR1 at sister kinetochores is symmetrical, localisation of Bub1 is often asymmetrical. This asymmetry is dependent on microtubule attachment, and the kinetochore exhibiting weaker Bub1 staining is typically closer to the nearest spindle pole. In addition, a 30 minute nocodazole treatment dramatically increases the amount of Bub1 localising to kinetochores but has little effect on BubR1. Furthermore, Bub1 levels increase at metaphase kinetochores following loss of tension caused by taxol treatment. Thus, these observations suggest that Bub1 localisation is sensitive to changes in both tension and microtubule attachment. Consistent with this, we also show that Bub1 is rapidly phosphorylated following brief treatments with nocodazole or taxol. In contrast, BubR1 is phosphorylated in the absence of microtubule toxins, and spindle damage has little additional effect. Although these observations indicate that Bub1 and BubR1 respond differently to spindle dynamics, they are part of a common complex during mitosis. We suggest therefore that Bub1 and BubR1 may integrate different 'spindle assembly signals' into a single signal which can then be interpreted by downstream cell cycle regulators.

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