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Nat Cell Biol. 2005 Jan;7(1):93-8. Epub 2004 Dec 12.

The human mitotic checkpoint protein BubR1 regulates chromosome-spindle attachments.

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Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA. <>


Loss or gain of whole chromosomes, the form of chromosomal instability (CIN) most commonly associated with human cancers, is expected to arise from the failure to accurately segregate chromosomes in mitosis. The mitotic checkpoint is one pathway that prevents segregation errors by blocking the onset of anaphase until all chromosomes make proper attachments to the spindle. Another process that prevents errors is stabilization and destabilization of connections between chromosomes and spindle microtubules. An outstanding question is how these two pathways are coordinated to ensure accurate chromosome segregation. Here we show that in human cells depleted of BubR1 - a critical component of the mitotic checkpoint that can directly regulate the onset of anaphase - chromosomes do not form stable attachments to spindle microtubules. Attachments in these cells are restored by inhibition of Aurora kinase, which is known to stabilize kinetochore-microtubule attachments. Loss of BubR1 function thus perturbs regulation of attachments rather than the ability of kinetochores to bind to microtubules. Consistent with this finding, depletion of BubR1 increases phosphorylation of CENP-A, a kinetochore-specific Aurora kinase substrate. We propose that BubR1 links regulation of chromosome-spindle attachment to mitotic checkpoint signalling.

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