An alpha-tubulin mutant demonstrates distinguishable functions among the spindle assembly checkpoint genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Cells expressing a mutant allele of alpha-tubulin, tub1-729, are cold sensitive and arrest as large-budded cells with microtubule defects. The cold sensitivity of tub1-729 is suppressed by extra copies of a subset of the mitotic checkpoint genes BUB1, BUB3, and MPS1, but not MAD1, MAD2, and MAD3. This suppression by checkpoint genes does not depend upon their role in the MAD2-dependent spindle assembly checkpoint. In addition, BUB1 requires an intact kinase domain as well as Bub3p to suppress tub1-729. The data suggest that tub1-729 cells are defective in microtubule-kinetochore attachments and that the products of specific checkpoint genes can act either directly or indirectly to affect these attachments.