The nucleoporin Nup153 is known to play pivotal roles in nuclear import and export in interphase cells and as the cell transitions into mitosis, Nup153 is involved in nuclear envelope breakdown. In this study, we demonstrate that the interaction of Nup153 with the spindle assembly checkpoint protein Mad1 is important in the regulation of the spindle checkpoint. Overexpression of human Nup153 in HeLa cells leads to the appearance of multinucleated cells and induces the formation of multipolar spindles. Importantly, it causes inactivation of the spindle checkpoint due to hypophosphorylation of Mad1. Depletion of Nup153 using RNA interference results in the decline of Mad1 at nuclear pores during interphase and more significantly causes a delayed dissociation of Mad1 from kinetochores in metaphase and an increase in the number of unresolved midbodies. In the absence of Nup153 the spindle checkpoint remains active. In vitro studies indicate direct binding of Mad1 to the N-terminal domain of Nup153. Importantly, Nup153 binding to Mad1 affects Mad1's phosphorylation status, but not its ability to interact with Mad2. Our data suggest that Nup153 levels regulate the localization of Mad1 during the metaphase/anaphase transition thereby affecting its phoshorylation status and in turn spindle checkpoint activity and mitotic exit.
Keywords: Mad1; Nup153; nuclear pore complex; spindle assembly checkpoint.