Characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana kinetochore proteins
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The kinetochore is a highly conserved group of proteins involved in proper chromosome segregation by binding to the microtubules. Recent studies have identified more than 80 kinetochore components, many of which have a broad evolutionary conservation from yeast to humans. Among these are MCM21, NDC80, NUF2 and SPC25 that are predicted to be located in the core kinetochore regions and have been shown to have homologues within plants. Through mutant analysis by T-DNA and RNAi, and expression analysis using fluorescent fusion proteins, we attempted to characterize the function and localization of these proteins to further confirm their conservation in plants. We showed that SPC25 localizes to the kinetochore and is constitutively expressed throughout the tissues. It was also shown that mutation of SPC25 and NDC80 has adverse effects on the mutant plant’s development compared to wildtype plants. Based on our data, we suggest that MCM21 is not a conserved feature of the plant kinetochore and SPC25 and NDC80 are most likely conserved in plants. Due to questionable data, we were unable to make any conclusions regarding the location and function of NUF2.