The structure of purified kinetochores reveals multiple microtubule-attachment sites

Shane Gonen, Bungo Akiyoshi, Matthew G Iadanza, Dan Shi, Nicole Duggan, Sue Biggins*, Tamir Gonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Chromosomes must be accurately partitioned to daughter cells to prevent aneuploidy, a hallmark of many tumors and birth defects. Kinetochores are the macromolecular machines that segregate chromosomes by maintaining load-bearing attachments to the dynamic tips of microtubules. Here, we present the structure of isolated budding-yeast kinetochore particles, as visualized by EM and electron tomography of negatively stained preparations. The kinetochore appears as an ∼126-nm particle containing a large central hub surrounded by multiple outer globular domains. In the presence of microtubules, some particles also have a ring that encircles the microtubule. Our data, showing that kinetochores bind to microtubules via multivalent attachments, lay the foundation to uncover the key mechanical and regulatory mechanisms by which kinetochores control chromosome segregation and cell division.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-929
Number of pages6
JournalNature Structural and Molecular Biology
Early online date12 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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