Stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment requires loop-dependent Ndc80-Ndc80 binding

Soumitra Polley, Helen Müschenborn, Melina Terbeck, Anna De Antoni, Ingrid R. Vetter, Marileen Dogterom, Andrea Musacchio*, Vladimir A. Volkov, Pim J. Huis in 't Veld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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During cell division, kinetochores link chromosomes to spindle microtubules. The Ndc80 complex, a crucial microtubule binder, populates each kinetochore with dozens of copies. Whether adjacent Ndc80 complexes cooperate to promote microtubule binding remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that the Ndc80 loop, a short sequence that interrupts the Ndc80 coiled-coil at a conserved position, folds into a more rigid structure than previously assumed and promotes direct interactions between full-length Ndc80 complexes on microtubules. Mutations in the loop impair these Ndc80-Ndc80 interactions, prevent the formation of force-resistant kinetochore-microtubule attachments, and cause cells to arrest in mitosis for hours. This arrest is not due to an inability to recruit the kinetochore-microtubule stabilizing SKA complex and cannot be overridden by mutations in the Ndc80 tail that strengthen microtubule attachment. Thus, loop-mediated organization of adjacent Ndc80 complexes is crucial for stable end-on kinetochore-microtubule attachment and spindle assembly checkpoint satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere112504
Number of pages20
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • chromosome segregation
  • kinetochore
  • microtubule
  • Ndc80
  • spindle assembly checkpoint

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