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J Cell Biol. 2006 Aug 28;174(5):653-63. Epub 2006 Aug 21.

Sumoylation of the budding yeast kinetochore protein Ndc10 is required for Ndc10 spindle localization and regulation of anaphase spindle elongation.

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Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Posttranslational modification by the ubiquitin-like protein SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier) is emerging as an important regulator in many cellular processes, including genome integrity. In this study, we show that the kinetochore proteins Ndc10, Bir1, Ndc80, and Cep3, which mediate the attachment of chromosomes to spindle microtubules, are sumoylated substrates in budding yeast. Furthermore, we show that Ndc10, Bir1, and Cep3 but not Ndc80 are desumoylated upon exposure to nocodazole, highlighting the possibility of distinct roles for sumoylation in modulating kinetochore protein function and of a potential link between the sumoylation of kinetochore proteins and mitotic checkpoint function. We find that lysine to arginine mutations that eliminate the sumoylation of Ndc10 cause chromosome instability, mislocalization of Ndc10 from the mitotic spindle, abnormal anaphase spindles, and a loss of Bir1 sumoylation. These data suggest that sumoylation of Ndc10 and other kinetochore proteins play a critical role during the mitotic process.

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