The internal loop of fission yeast Ndc80 binds Alp7/TACC-Alp14/TOG and ensures proper chromosome attachment

Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Apr;24(8):1122-33. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-11-0817. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


The Ndc80 outer kinetochore complex plays a critical role in kinetochore-microtubule attachment, yet our understanding of the mechanism by which this complex interacts with spindle microtubules for timely and accurate chromosome segregation remains limited. Here we address this issue using an ndc80 mutant (ndc80-NH12) from fission yeast that contains a point mutation within a ubiquitous internal loop. This mutant is normal for assembly of the Ndc80 complex and bipolar spindle formation yet defective in proper end-on attachment to the spindle microtubule, with chromosome alignment defects and missegregation happening later during mitosis. We find that ndc80-NH12 exhibits impaired localization of the microtubule-associated protein complex Alp7/transforming acidic coiled coil (TACC)-Alp14/tumor-overexpressed gene (TOG) to the mitotic kinetochore. Consistently, wild-type Ndc80 binds these two proteins, whereas the Ndc80-NH12 mutant protein displays a substantial reduction of interaction. Crucially, forced targeting of Alp7-Alp14 to the outer kinetochore rescues ndc80-NH12-mutant phenotypes. The loop was previously shown to bind Dis1/TOG, by which it ensures initial chromosome capture during early mitosis. Strikingly, ndc80-NH12 is normal in Dis1 localization. Genetic results indicate that the loop recruits Dis1/TOG and Alp7/TACC-Alp14/TOG independently. Our work therefore establishes that the Ndc80 loop plays sequential roles in spindle-kinetochore attachment by connecting the Ndc80 complex to Dis1/TOG and Alp7/TACC-Alp14/TOG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Kinetochores / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Point Mutation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Transport
  • Schizosaccharomyces / cytology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / growth & development
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism
  • Time-Lapse Imaging


  • Alp7 protein, S pombe
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • NDC80 protein, S pombe
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • alp14 protein, S pombe
  • dis1 protein, S pombe