Abstract

The fidelity of chromosome segregation during mitosis is intimately linked to the function of kinetochores, which are large protein complexes assembled at sites of centromeric heterochromatin on mitotic chromosomes. These key “orchestrators” of mitosis physically connect chromosomes to spindle microtubules and transduce forces through these connections to congress chromosomes and silence the spindle assembly checkpoint. Kinetochore-microtubule attachments are highly regulated to ensure that incorrect attachments are not prematurely stabilized, but instead released and corrected. The kinase activity of the centromeric protein Aurora B is required for kinetochore-microtubule destabilization during mitosis, but how the kinase acts on outer kinetochore substrates to selectively destabilize immature and erroneous attachments remains debated. Here, we review recent literature that sheds light on how Aurora B kinase is recruited to both centromeres and kinetochores and discuss possible mechanisms for how kinase interactions with substrates at distinct regions of mitotic chromosomes are regulated.

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