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PLoS Genet. 2016 Feb 18;12(2):e1005855. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005855. eCollection 2016 Feb.

Synergistic Control of Kinetochore Protein Levels by Psh1 and Ubr2.

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The Francis Crick Institute, Mill Hill Laboratory, London, United Kingdom.


The accurate segregation of chromosomes during cell division is achieved by attachment of chromosomes to the mitotic spindle via the kinetochore, a large multi-protein complex that assembles on centromeres. The budding yeast kinetochore comprises more than 60 different proteins. Although the structure and function of many of these proteins has been investigated, we have little understanding of the steady state regulation of kinetochores. The primary model of kinetochore homeostasis suggests that kinetochores assemble hierarchically from the centromeric DNA via the inclusion of a centromere-specific histone into chromatin. We tested this model by trying to perturb kinetochore protein levels by overexpressing an outer kinetochore gene, MTW1. This increase in protein failed to change protein recruitment, consistent with the hierarchical assembly model. However, we find that deletion of Psh1, a key ubiquitin ligase that is known to restrict inner kinetochore protein loading, does not increase levels of outer kinetochore proteins, thus breaking the normal kinetochore stoichiometry. This perturbation leads to chromosome segregation defects, which can be partially suppressed by mutation of Ubr2, a second ubiquitin ligase that normally restricts protein levels at the outer kinetochore. Together these data show that Psh1 and Ubr2 synergistically control the amount of proteins at the kinetochore.

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