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Cell Cycle. 2007 Jun 1;6(11):1367-78. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

BubR1 and CENP-E have antagonistic effects upon the stability of microtubule-kinetochore attachments in Drosophila S2 cell mitosis.

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IBMC, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.


The spindle assembly checkpoint ensures the fidelity of chromosome segregation at each cell division cycle. Previous reports have indicated that in higher eukaryotes checkpoint proteins, such as BubR1, are also implicated in chromosome congression, more specifically that BubR1 regulates chromosome-spindle attachments. Also, several studies have shown that BubR1 interacts with the microtubule motor protein CENP-E. Whether this association contributes to the regulation of chromosome-spindle attachments is not yet known. Accordingly, we performed a detailed analysis of microtubule-kinetochore interactions after depletion of BubR1 and the Drosophila CENP-E homolog, CENP-meta by RNAi. We find that depletion of BubR1 affects mitosis very differently from depletion of CENP-meta. While BubR1-depleted cells exit mitosis prematurely due to loss of SAC activity, CENP-meta-depleted cells accumulate in prometaphase and do not exit mitosis after spindle damage. Also, in contrast to cells depleted for CENP-meta, cells depleted for BubR1 very rarely reach full metaphase alignment even if arrested in mitosis with the proteasome inhibitor MG132. More importantly, we show for the first time that BubR1-depleted cells contain a high frequency of either monoriented or fully unattached chromosomes while most CENP-meta dsRNAi-treated cells have chromosomes attached to spindle microtubules. Moreover, simultaneous depletion of both proteins reveals that absence of CENP-meta is able to partially rescue the unattached chromosome phenotype observed after BubR1 depletion. These results strongly suggest that while BubR1 is required to promote stable microtubule kinetochore attachment, CENP-E appears to be required to destabilize kinetochore attachment. Overall our results suggest that activation of the mechanism that corrects inappropriate kinetochore attachment requires the antagonistic effects of BubR1 and CENP-E.

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