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The kinetochore forms a dynamic interface with microtubules from the mitotic spindle during mitosis. The Ndc80 complex acts as the key microtubule-binding complex at kinetochores. However, it is unclear how the Ndc80 complex associates with the inner kinetochore proteins that assemble upon centromeric chromatin. Here, based on a high-resolution structural analysis, we demonstrate that the N-terminal region of vertebrate CENP-T interacts with the 'RWD' domain in the Spc24/25 portion of the Ndc80 complex. Phosphorylation of CENP-T strengthens a cryptic hydrophobic interaction between CENP-T and Spc25 resulting in a phospho-regulated interaction that occurs without direct recognition of the phosphorylated residue. The Ndc80 complex interacts with both CENP-T and the Mis12 complex, but we find that these interactions are mutually exclusive, supporting a model in which two distinct pathways target the Ndc80 complex to kinetochores. Our results provide a model for how the multiple protein complexes at kinetochores associate in a phospho-regulated manner.


Tatsuya Nishino, Florencia Rago, Tetsuya Hori, Kentaro Tomii, Iain M Cheeseman, Tatsuo Fukagawa. CENP-T provides a structural platform for outer kinetochore assembly. The EMBO journal. 2013 Feb 06;32(3):424-36

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PMID: 23334297

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