Mitotic Nuclear Envelope Breakdown and Spindle Nucleation Are Controlled by Interphase Contacts between Centromeres and the Nuclear Envelope

Dev Cell. 2016 Dec 5;39(5):544-559. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.10.021. Epub 2016 Nov 23.


Faithful genome propagation requires coordination between nuclear envelope (NE) breakdown, spindle formation, and chromosomal events. The conserved linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex connects fission yeast centromeres and the centrosome, across the NE, during interphase. During meiosis, LINC connects the centrosome with telomeres rather than centromeres. We previously showed that loss of telomere-LINC contacts compromises meiotic spindle formation. Here, we define the precise events regulated by telomere-LINC contacts and address the analogous possibility that centromeres regulate mitotic spindle formation. We develop conditionally inactivated LINC complexes in which the conserved SUN-domain protein Sad1 remains stable but severs interphase centromere-LINC contacts. Strikingly, the loss of such contacts abolishes spindle formation. We pinpoint the defect to a failure in the partial NE breakdown required for centrosome insertion into the NE, a step analogous to mammalian NE breakdown. Thus, interphase chromosome-LINC contacts constitute a cell-cycle control device linking nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic events.

Keywords: cell cycle; centromere; centrosome; chromatin; fission yeast; meiosis; mitosis; nuclear envelope breakdown; spindle pole body; telomere.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / physiology
  • Centromere / physiology
  • Centrosome / physiology
  • Chromosome Segregation / physiology
  • Genome, Fungal
  • Interphase / physiology
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Envelope / physiology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / physiology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / ultrastructure
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / physiology
  • Spindle Pole Bodies / physiology*
  • Telomere / physiology


  • SAD1 protein, S pombe
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins