Proper chromosome segregation in mitosis relies on correct kinetochore-microtubule (KT-MT) interactions. The KT initially interacts with the lateral surface of a single MT (lateral attachment) extending from a spindle pole and is subsequently anchored at the plus end of the MT (end-on attachment) . The conversion from lateral to end-on attachment is crucial because end-on attachment is more robust [2-4] and thought to be necessary to sustain KT-MT attachment when tension is applied across sister KTs upon their biorientation . The mechanism for this conversion is still elusive. The Ndc80 complex is an essential component of the KT-MT interface [1, 5], and here we studied a role of the Ndc80 loop region, a distinct motif looping out from the coiled-coil shaft of the complex , in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. With deletions or mutations of the loop region, the lateral KT-MT attachment occurred normally; however, subsequent conversion to end-on attachment was defective, leading to failure in sister KT biorientation. The Ndc80 loop region was required for Ndc80-Dam1 interaction and KT loading of the Dam1 complex, which in turn supported KT tethering to the dynamic MT plus end [3, 7]. The Ndc80 loop region, therefore, has an important role in the conversion from lateral to end-on attachment, a crucial maturation step of KT-MT interaction.
- PRECOCIOUS SEPARATION