Bipolar microtubule attachment is central to genome stability. Here, we investigate the mitotic role of the fission yeast EB1 homologue Mal3. Mal3 shows dynamic inward movement along the spindle, initial emergence at the spindle pole body (SPB) and translocation towards the equatorial plane, followed by sudden disappearance. Deletion of Mal3 results in early mitotic delay, which is dependent on the Bub1, but not the Mad2, spindle checkpoint. Consistently, Bub1, but not Mad2, shows prolonged kinetochore localization. Double mutants between mal3 and a subset of checkpoint mutants, including bub1, bub3, mad3 and mph1, but not mad1 or mad2, show massive chromosome mis-segregation defects. In mal3bub1 mutants, both sister centromeres tend to remain in close proximity to one of the separating SPBs. Further analysis indicates that mis-segregated centromeres are exclusively associated with the mother SPB. Mal3, therefore, has a role in preventing monopolar attachment in cooperation with the Bub1/Bub3/Mad3/Mph1-dependent checkpoint.
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