Uncoupling the central spindle-associated function of the chromosomal passenger complex from its role at centromeres

Susanne M.A. Lens*, Jose A. Rodriguez, Gerben Vader, Simone W. Span, Giuseppe Giaccone, René H. Medema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Survivin is a component of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) that plays a role in maintenance of an active spindle checkpoint and in cytokinesis. To study whether these different functions can be attributed to distinct domains within the Survivin protein, we complemented Survivin-depleted cells with a variety of point- and deletion-mutants of Survivin. We show that an intact baculovirus IAP repeat (BIR) domain is required for proper spindle checkpoint functioning, but dispensable for cytokinesis. In line with this, mutants lacking an intact BIR domain localized normally to the central spindle, but their localization to inner centromeres was severely perturbed. Consequently, these mutants failed to recruit Aurora B, Borealin/Dasra B, and BubR1 to centromeres and kinetochores, but they had retained the ability to recruit Aurora B and Borealin/Dasra B to the midzone and midbody. Thus, the C terminus of Survivin is sufficient for central spindle localization and execution of cytokinesis, but the additional presence of a functional BIR domain is essential for centromere targeting and spindle checkpoint function. Importantly, our data show that the function of the CPC at the centromere can be separated from its function at the central spindle and that execution of cytokinesis does not require prior concentration of the CPC at centromeres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1897-1909
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006

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