Characterization of regions in hsMAD1 needed for binding hsMAD2: A polymorphic change in an hsMAD1 leucine zipper affects MAD1-MAD2 interaction and spindle checkpoint function

Yoichi Iwanaga, Takefumi Kasai, Karen Kibler, Kuan Teh Jeang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


In eukaryotes, the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint provides a monitor for the fidelity of chromosomal segregation. In this context, the mitotic arrest deficiency protein 2 (MAD2) censors chromosomal mis-segregation by monitoring microtubule attachment/tension, a role that requires its attachment to kinetochores. Studies in yeast have shown that binding of MAD1 to MAD2 is important for the checkpoint function of the latter. The interactions between human MAD1 (hsMAD1) and human MAD2 (hsMAD2) have, however, remained poorly characterized. Here we report that two leucine zipper domains (amino acids 501-522 and 557-571) in hsMAD1 are required for its contact with hsMAD2. Interestingly, in several cancer cell lines, we noted the frequent presence of a coding single nucleotide Arg to His polymorphism at codon 558 located within the second leucine zipper of hsMAD1. We found that hsMAD1H558 is less proficient than hsMAD1R558 in binding hsMAD2 and in enforcing mitotic arrest. We also document a first example of loss-of-heterozygosity for a spindle checkpoint gene (at the hsMAD1 558 locus) in a human breast cancer. Based on our findings, it is possible that hsMAD1H558 could be an at-risk polymorphism that contributes to attenuated spindle checkpoint function in human cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31005-31013
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 23 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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