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Cell Syst. 2017 Jun 28;4(6):645-650.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2017.05.003. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Stochastic Modeling Yields a Mechanistic Framework for Spindle Attachment Error Correction in Budding Yeast Mitosis.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. Electronic address:


Proper segregation of the replicated genome requires that kinetochores form and maintain bioriented, amphitelic attachments to microtubules from opposite spindle poles and eliminate erroneous, syntelic attachments to microtubules from the same spindle pole. Phosphorylation of kinetochore proteins destabilizes low-tension kinetochore-microtubule attachments, yet tension stabilizes bioriented attachments. This conundrum for forming high-tension amphitelic attachments is recognized as the "initiation problem of biorientation (IPBO)." A delay before kinetochore-microtubule detachment solves the IPBO, but it lacks a mechanistic framework. We developed a stochastic mathematical model for kinetochore-microtubule error correction in yeast that reveals: (1) under low chromatin tension, requiring a large number of phosphorylation events at multiple sites to achieve detachment provides the necessary delay; and (2) kinetochore-induced microtubule depolymerization generates tension in amphitelic, but not syntelic, attachments. With these requirements, the model provides a mechanistic framework for the delay before detachment to solve the IPBO and demonstrates the high degree of amphitely observed experimentally for wild-type spindles under optimal conditions.


Ipl1; aurora B kinase; error correction; microtubule; mitosis

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