Proteomics of spindle checkpoint complexes and characterisation of novel interactors
Van Der Sar, Sjaak
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The eukaryotic cell cycle is governed by molecular checkpoints that ensure genomic integrity and the faithful transmission of chromosomes to daughter cells. They inhibit the cycle until conditions prevail that guarantee accurate DNA duplication and chromosome segregation. Two major mechanisms are the ‘spindle assembly checkpoint’ and the ‘DNA damage checkpoint’. During pro-metaphase, the spindle checkpoint monitors the orientation process of chromatid pairs on the bipolar microtubule array nucleated by spindle pole bodies. In the yeasts Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, six proteins are at the heart of spindle checkpoint function: Mad1, Mad2, Mad3, Bub1, Bub3 and Mph1/Mps1. The formation of spindle checkpoint complexes signals the presence of incorrect spindle microtubule attachments to kinetochores. These complexes cooperate to suppress the activity of the anaphase promoting complex (APC) and inhibit the onset of anaphase. By isolating these distinct complexes and analysing their composition by mass-spectrometry (MS) this work revealed several intriguing disparities between the two yeast species, and the way in which the Bub and Mad proteins cooperate to achieve inhibition. The ‘mitotic checkpoint complex’, which in S.cerevisiae consists of Mad2, Mad3, Bub3 and the APC activator Cdc20, was found to lack Bub3 in S.pombe. The S.pombe complex was shown to interact with the APC, but no stable interaction was found to be required in S.cerevisiae cells. And whereas Bub1 and Bub3 were found to form a complex with Mad1 in S.cerevisiae, in S.pombe they were shown to associate with Mad3 to form the ‘BUB+ spindle checkpoint complex’. In addition, MS analysis uncovered TAPAS: a novel S.pombe complex that was found to interact with the BUB+ complex and revealed to consist of Tfg3, Abo1 (gene product of SPAC31G5.19), Pob3 and Spt16. TAPAS mutant cells were shown to lose viability as a result of genotoxic stress, a phenotype that was surprisingly shared with bub1Δ and bub1kd ‘kinase dead’ mutants. Sensitivity of cells deficient in TAPAS or Bub1 did not appear to be due to the loss of DNA damage checkpoint or DNA replication checkpoint functions. Further examination revealed that Bub1 functions in the repair of DNA double strand breaks. Taken together, this work demonstrates that even though the molecular components of the spindle checkpoint pathway are conserved, their regulatory connections have to some extent diverged through molecular evolution. This process not only rewired, but entwined two molecular processes that together safeguard the genetic heritage of cells.