Errorless chromosome segregation requires load-bearing attachments of the plus ends of spindle microtubules to chromosome structures named kinetochores. How these end-on kinetochore attachments are established following initial lateral contacts with the microtubule lattice is poorly understood. Two microtubule-binding complexes, the Ndc80 and Ska complexes, are important for efficient end-on coupling and may function as a unit in this process, but precise conditions for their interaction are unknown. Here, we report that the Ska-Ndc80 interaction is phosphorylation-dependent and does not require microtubules, applied force, or several previously identified functional determinants including the Ndc80-loop and the Ndc80-tail. Both the Ndc80-tail, which we reveal to be essential for microtubule end-tracking, and Ndc80-bound Ska stabilize microtubule ends in a stalled conformation. Modulation of force-coupling efficiency demonstrates that the duration of stalled microtubule disassembly predicts whether a microtubule is stabilized and rescued by the kinetochore, likely reflecting a structural transition of the microtubule end.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • biochemistry, cell division, chemical biology, force-coupling, human, kinetochore, microtubule, molecular biophysics, Ndc80, Ska, structural biology

ID: 68382783