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Nature communications

Aurora A-dependent CENP-A phosphorylation at inner centromeres protects bioriented chromosomes against cohesion fatigue.


PMID 29760389

Abstract

Sustained spindle tension applied to sister centromeres during mitosis eventually leads to uncoordinated loss of sister chromatid cohesion, a phenomenon known as "cohesion fatigue." We report that Aurora A-dependent phosphorylation of serine 7 of the centromere histone variant CENP-A (p-CENP-AS7) protects bioriented chromosomes against cohesion fatigue. Expression of a non-phosphorylatable version of CENP-A (CENP-AS7A) weakens sister chromatid cohesion only when sister centromeres are under tension, providing the first evidence of a regulated mechanism involved in protection against passive cohesion loss. Consistent with this observation, p-CENP-AS7 is detected at the inner centromere where it forms a discrete domain. The depletion or inhibition of Aurora A phenocopies the expression of CENP-AS7A and we show that Aurora A is recruited to centromeres in a Bub1-dependent manner. We propose that Aurora A-dependent phosphorylation of CENP-A at the inner centromere protects chromosomes against tension-induced cohesion fatigue until the last kinetochore is attached to spindle microtubules.