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A novel role for the CBF3 kinetochore-scaffold complex in regulating septin dynamics and cytokinesis


In budding yeast, the kinetochore scaffold complex centromere binding factor 3 ( CBF3) is required to form kinetochores on centromere DNA and to allow proper chromosome segregation. We have previously shown that SKP1 and SGT1 balance the assembly and turnover of CBF3 complexes, a cycle that we suggest is independent of its role in chromosome segregation (Rodrigo-Brenni, M. C., S. Thomas, D. C. Bouck, and K. B. Kaplan. 2004. Mol. Biol. Cell. 15: 3366 - 3378). We provide evidence that this cycle contributes to a second, kinetochore-independent function of CBF3. In this study, we show that inhibiting the assembly of CBF3 causes disorganized septins and defects in cell polarity that give rise to cytokinesis failures. Specifically, we show that septin ring separation and disassembly is delayed in anaphase, suggesting that CBF3 regulates septin dynamics. Only mutations that affect the CBF3 cycle, and not mutants in outer kinetochore subunits, cause defects in septins. These results demonstrate a novel role for CBF3 in regulating cytokinesis, a role that is reminiscent of passenger proteins. Consistent with this possibility, we find that CBF3 interacts with Bir1p, the homologue of the passenger protein Survivin. Mutants in Bir1p similarly affect septin organization, leading us to propose that CBF3 and Bir1p act as passenger proteins to coordinate chromosome segregation with cytokinesis.

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