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J Cell Biol. 2014 Mar 3;204(5):647-57. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201311015. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

A Bub1-Mad1 interaction targets the Mad1-Mad2 complex to unattached kinetochores to initiate the spindle checkpoint.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and 2 Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037.


Recruitment of Mad1-Mad2 complexes to unattached kinetochores is a central event in spindle checkpoint signaling. Despite its importance, the mechanism that recruits Mad1-Mad2 to kinetochores is unclear. In this paper, we show that MAD-1 interacts with BUB-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mutagenesis identified specific residues in a segment of the MAD-1 coiled coil that mediate the BUB-1 interaction. In addition to unattached kinetochores, MAD-1 localized between separating meiotic chromosomes and to the nuclear periphery. Mutations in the MAD-1 coiled coil that selectively disrupt interaction with BUB-1 eliminated MAD-1 localization to unattached kinetochores and between meiotic chromosomes, both of which require BUB-1, and abrogated checkpoint signaling. The identified MAD-1 coiled-coil segment interacted with a C-terminal region of BUB-1 that contains its kinase domain, and mutations in this region prevented MAD-1 kinetochore targeting independently of kinase activity. These results delineate an interaction between BUB-1 and MAD-1 that targets MAD-1-MAD-2 complexes to kinetochores and is essential for spindle checkpoint signaling.

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