Unlike most eukaryotes, a kinetochore is fully assembled early in the cell cycle in budding yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans. These kinetochores are clustered together throughout the cell cycle. Kinetochore assembly on point centromeres of S. cerevisiae is considered to be a step-wise process that initiates with binding of inner kinetochore proteins on specific centromere DNA sequence motifs. In contrast, kinetochore formation in C. albicans, that carries regional centromeres of 3-5 kb long, has been shown to be a sequence independent but an epigenetically regulated event. In this study, we investigated the process of kinetochore assembly/disassembly in C. albicans. Localization dependence of various kinetochore proteins studied by confocal microscopy and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that assembly of a kinetochore is a highly coordinated and interdependent event. Partial depletion of an essential kinetochore protein affects integrity of the kinetochore cluster. Further protein depletion results in complete collapse of the kinetochore architecture. In addition, GFP-tagged kinetochore proteins confirmed similar time-dependent disintegration upon gradual depletion of an outer kinetochore protein (Dam1). The loss of integrity of a kinetochore formed on centromeric chromatin was demonstrated by reduced binding of CENP-A and CENP-C at the centromeres. Most strikingly, Western blot analysis revealed that gradual depletion of any of these essential kinetochore proteins results in concomitant reduction in cellular protein levels of CENP-A. We further demonstrated that centromere bound CENP-A is protected from the proteosomal mediated degradation. Based on these results, we propose that a coordinated interdependent circuitry of several evolutionarily conserved essential kinetochore proteins ensures integrity of a kinetochore formed on the foundation of CENP-A containing centromeric chromatin. © 2012 Thakur, Sanyal.
Thakur, J., & Sanyal, K. (2012). A coordinated interdependent protein circuitry stabilizes the kinetochore ensemble to protect CENP-A in the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. PLoS Genetics, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002661