December 14, 2021

New publication by Babhrubahan Roy (Joglekar Lab)!

Accurate chromosome segregation during cell division requires amphitelic chromosome attachment to the spindle apparatus. It is ensured by the combined activity of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC),1 a signaling mechanism that delays anaphase onset in response to unattached chromosomes, and an error correction mechanism that eliminates syntelic attachments.2 The SAC becomes active when Mps1 kinase sequentially phosphorylates the kinetochore protein Spc105/KNL1 and the signaling proteins that Spc105/KNL1 recruits to facilitate the production of the mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC).3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 The error correction mechanism is regulated by the Aurora B kinase, but Aurora B also promotes SAC signaling via indirect mechanisms.9, 10, 11, 12 Here we present evidence that Aurora B kinase activity directly promotes MCC production by working downstream of Mps1 in budding yeast and human cells. Using the ectopic SAC activation (eSAC) system, we find that the conditional dimerization of Aurora B in budding yeast and an Aurora B recruitment domain in HeLa cells with either Bub1 or Mad1, but not the phosphodomain of Spc105/KNL1, leads to ectopic MCC production and mitotic arrest.13, 14, 15, 16 Importantly, Bub1 must recruit both Mad1 and Cdc20 for this ectopic signaling activity. These and other data show that Aurora B cooperates with Bub1 to promote MCC production, but only after Mps1 licenses Bub1 recruitment to the kinetochore. This direct involvement of Aurora B in SAC signaling may maintain SAC signaling even after Mps1 activity in the kinetochore is lowered.