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The nuclear scaffold protein SAF-A is required for kinetochore-microtubule attachment and contributes to the targeting of Aurora-A to mitotic spindles.

Ma N., Matsunaga S., Morimoto A., Sakashita G., Urano T., Uchiyama S., Fukui K.

Segregation of chromosomes during cell division requires correct formation of mitotic spindles. Here, we show that a scaffold attachment factor A (SAF-A), also known as heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein-U, contributes to the attachment of spindle microtubules (MTs) to kinetochores and spindle organization. During mitosis, SAF-A was localized at the spindles, spindle midzone and cytoplasmic bridge. Depletion of SAF-A by RNA interference induced mitotic delay and defects in chromosome alignment and spindle assembly. We found that SAF-A specifically co-immunoprecipitated with the chromosome peripheral protein nucleolin and the spindle regulators Aurora-A and TPX2, indicating that SAF-A is associated with nucleolin and the Aurora-A-TPX2 complex. SAF-A was colocalized with TPX2 and Aurora-A in spindle poles and MTs. Elimination of TPX2 or Aurora-A from cells abolished the association of SAF-A with the mitotic spindle. Interestingly, SAF-A can bind to MTs and contributes to the targeting of Aurora-A to mitotic spindle MTs. Our finding indicates that SAF-A is a novel spindle regulator that plays an essential role in kinetochore-MT attachment and mitotic spindle organization.

J. Cell Sci. 124:394-404(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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