Molecular determinants of the Ska-Ndc80 interaction and their influence on microtubule tracking and force-coupling

Pim J. Huis In 't Veld, Vladimir A. Volkov, Isabelle D. Stender, Andrea Musacchio, Marileen Dogterom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


Errorless chromosome segregation requires load-bearing attachments of the plus ends of spindle microtubules to chromosome structures named kinetochores. How these end-on kinetochore attachments are established following initial lateral contacts with the microtubule lattice is poorly understood. Two microtubule-binding complexes, the Ndc80 and Ska complexes, are important for efficient end-on coupling and may function as a unit in this process, but precise conditions for their interaction are unknown. Here, we report that the Ska-Ndc80 interaction is phosphorylation-dependent and does not require microtubules, applied force, or several previously identified functional determinants including the Ndc80-loop and the Ndc80-tail. Both the Ndc80-tail, which we reveal to be essential for microtubule end-tracking, and Ndc80-bound Ska stabilize microtubule ends in a stalled conformation. Modulation of force-coupling efficiency demonstrates that the duration of stalled microtubule disassembly predicts whether a microtubule is stabilized and rescued by the kinetochore, likely reflecting a structural transition of the microtubule end.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49539
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • biochemistry
  • cell division
  • chemical biology
  • force-coupling
  • human
  • kinetochore
  • microtubule
  • molecular biophysics
  • Ndc80
  • Ska
  • structural biology

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