Abstract

The kinetochore (KT) field has matured tremendously since Earnshaw first identified CENP-A, CENP-B, and CENP-C [1,2]. In the past 35 years, the accumulation of knowledge has included: defining the parts list, identifying epistatic networks of interdependence within the parts list, understanding the spatial organization of subcomplexes into a massive structure – hundreds of megadaltons in size, and dissecting the functions of the KT in its entirety as well as of its individual parts. Like nearly all cell and molecular biology fields, the structure–function paradigm has been foundational to advances in the KT field. A point nicely highlighted by the fact that we are at the precipice of the in vitro reconstitution of a functional KT holo complex. Yet conventional notions of structure cannot provide a complete picture of the KT especially since it contains an abundance of unstructured or intrinsically disordered constituents. The combination of structured and disordered proteins within the KT results in an assembled system that is functionally greater than the sum of its parts.

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