Ndc80 internal loop interacts with Dis1/TOG to ensure proper kinetochore-spindle attachment in fission yeast

Curr Biol. 2011 Feb 8;21(3):214-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.12.048. Epub 2011 Jan 20.


The Ndc80 complex, a conserved outer kinetochore complex, comprising four components (Ndc80/Hec1, Nuf2, Spc24, and Spc25), constitutes one of the core microtubule-binding sites within the kinetochore. Despite this knowledge, molecular mechanisms by which this complex contributes to establishment of correct bipolar attachment of the kinetochore to the spindle microtubule remain largely elusive. Here we show that the conserved internal loop of fission yeast Ndc80 directly binds the Dis1/TOG microtubule-associated protein, thereby coupling spindle microtubule dynamics with kinetochore capture. Ndc80 loop mutant proteins fail to recruit Dis1 to kinetochores, imposing unstable attachment and frequent spindle collapse. In these mutants, mitotic progression is halted attributable to spindle assembly checkpoint activation, and chromosomes remain in the vicinity of the spindle poles without congression. dis1 deletion precisely phenocopies the loop mutants. Intriguingly, forced targeting of Dis1 to the Ndc80 complex rescues loop mutant's defects. We propose that Ndc80 comprises two microtubule-interacting interfaces: the N-terminal region directly binds the microtubule lattice, while the internal loop interacts with the plus end of microtubules via Dis1/TOG. Therefore, our results provide a crucial insight into how the Ndc80 complex establishes stable bipolar attachment to the spindle microtubule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Deletion
  • Kinetochores / metabolism*
  • Kinetochores / physiology
  • Kinetochores / ultrastructure
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / chemistry
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / ultrastructure
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / chemistry
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / physiology*
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology
  • Spindle Apparatus / ultrastructure


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • dis1 protein, S pombe
  • nuf2 protein, S pombe