Primary Citation of Related Structures:   6QLD, 6QLF, 6QLE
In eukaryotes, accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis maintains genome stability and prevents aneuploidy. Kinetochores are large protein complexes that, by assembling onto specialized Cenp-A nucleosomes 1,2 , function to co ...
In eukaryotes, accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis maintains genome stability and prevents aneuploidy. Kinetochores are large protein complexes that, by assembling onto specialized Cenp-A nucleosomes 1,2 , function to connect centromeric chromatin to microtubules of the mitotic spindle 3,4 . Whereas the centromeres of vertebrate chromosomes comprise millions of DNA base pairs and attach to multiple microtubules, the simple point centromeres of budding yeast are connected to individual microtubules 5,6 . All 16 budding yeast chromosomes assemble complete kinetochores using a single Cenp-A nucleosome (Cenp-A Nuc ), each of which is perfectly centred on its cognate centromere 7-9 . The inner and outer kinetochore modules are responsible for interacting with centromeric chromatin and microtubules, respectively. Here we describe the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae inner kinetochore module, the constitutive centromere associated network (CCAN) complex, assembled onto a Cenp-A nucleosome (CCAN-Cenp-A Nuc ). The structure explains the interdependency of the constituent subcomplexes of CCAN and shows how the Y-shaped opening of CCAN accommodates Cenp-A Nuc to enable specific CCAN subunits to contact the nucleosomal DNA and histone subunits. Interactions with the unwrapped DNA duplex at the two termini of Cenp-A Nuc are mediated predominantly by a DNA-binding groove in the Cenp-L-Cenp-N subcomplex. Disruption of these interactions impairs assembly of CCAN onto Cenp-A Nuc . Our data indicate a mechanism of Cenp-A nucleosome recognition by CCAN and how CCAN acts as a platform for assembly of the outer kinetochore to link centromeres to the mitotic spindle for chromosome segregation.
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org.