Budding yeast Sgt1 is required for kinetochore assembly, and its homologues have a role in cAMP signalling in fungi and pathogen resistance in plants. The function of mammalian Sgt1 is unknown. We report that RNA interference‐mediated depletion of Sgt1 from HeLa cells causes dramatic alterations of the mitotic spindle and problems in chromosome alignment. Cells lacking Sgt1 undergo a mitotic delay due to activation of the spindle checkpoint. The checkpoint response, however, is significantly weakened in Sgt1‐depleted cells, and this correlates with a dramatic reduction in kinetochore levels of Mad1, Mad2 and BubR1. These effects are explained by a problem in kinetochore assembly that prevents the localization of Hec1, CENP‐E, CENP‐F, CENP‐I, but not CENP‐C, to mitotic kinetochores. Our studies implicate Sgt1 as an essential protein and a critical assembly factor for the mammalian kinetochore, and lend credit to the hypothesis of a kinetochore assembly pathway that is conserved from yeast to man.
- Received January 30, 2004.
- Revision received March 11, 2004.
- Accepted March 31, 2004.
- Copyright © 2004 European Molecular Biology Organization