Author(s): Heeger S, Schraidt O, Leismann O, Schittenhelm R, Heidmann S
Faithful transmission of genetic information during mitotic divisions depends on bipolar attachment of sister kinetochores to the mitotic spindle and on complete resolution of sister-chromatid cohesion immediately before the metaphase-to-anaphase transition. Separase is thought to be responsible for sister-chromatid separation, but its regulation is not completely understood. Therefore, we have screened for genetic loci that modify the aberrant phenotypes caused by overexpression of the regulatory separase complex subunits Pimples/securin and Three rows in Drosophila. An interacting gene was found to encode a constitutive centromere protein. Characterization of its centromere localization domain revealed the presence of a diverged CENPC motif. While direct evidence for an involvement of this Drosophila Cenp-C homolog in separase activation at centromeres could not be obtained, in vivo imaging clearly demonstrated that it is required for normal attachment of kinetochores to the spindle.