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Open Access Commentary

Ndc80 Loop as a protein-protein interaction motif

Ngang Heok Tang and Takashi Toda

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Cell Regulation, Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, Lincoln’s Inn Fields Laboratories, 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LY, UK

Cell Division 2013, 8:2  doi:10.1186/1747-1028-8-2

Published: 15 March 2013


Our understanding of the structure and function of kinetochores has advanced dramatically over the past 10 years, yet how the plus end of spindle microtubules interacts with the kinetochore and establishes amphitelic attachment for proper sister chromatid segregation remains unresolved. However, several recent reports from different organisms have shed new light on this issue. A key player in microtubule-kinetochore interaction is the conserved Ndc80 outer kinetochore complex. In both yeast and human cells in particular, a ubiquitous internal ‘loop’ found in the Ndc80 molecule interrupting its C-terminal coiled-coil domain plays critical roles in protein-protein interaction, by recruiting microtubule-binding proteins to ensure proper kinetochore-microtubule attachment. In this commentary, we summarise the recent progress made and discuss the evolutionary significance of this loop’s role in microtubule dynamics at the kinetochore for accurate chromosome segregation.

Kinetochore; Ndc80/Hec1 complex; Spindle microtubule; Loop; Cdt1; Dam1 complex; Ska complex; TACC-TOG; Humans; Yeast