The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), composed of inner centromere protein (INCENP), Survivin, Borealin, and the kinase Aurora B, contributes to the activation of the mitotic checkpoint. The regulation of CPC function remains unclear. Here, we reveal that in addition to Survivin and Borealin, the single α-helix (SAH) domain of INCENP supports CPC localization to chromatin and the mitotic checkpoint. The INCENP SAH domain also mediates INCENP’s microtubule binding, which is negatively regulated by Cyclin-dependent kinase–mediated phosphorylation of segments flanking the SAH domain. The microtubule-binding capacity of the SAH domain is important for mitotic arrest in conditions of suppressed microtubule dynamics, and the duration of mitotic arrest dictates the probability, but not the timing, of cell death. Although independent targeting of INCENP to microtubules or the kinetochore/centromere promotes the mitotic checkpoint, it is insufficient for a robust mitotic arrest. Altogether, our results demonstrate that dual recognition of chromatin and microtubules by CPC is important for checkpoint maintenance and determination of cell fate in mitosis.
- Submitted: 13 September 2016
- Revision received 11 January 2017
- Accepted: 7 February 2017
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