Accurate duplication of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spindle pole body (SPB) is required for formation of a bipolar mitotic spindle. We identified mutants in SPB assembly by screening a temperature-sensitive collection of yeast for defects in SPB incorporation of a fluorescently marked integral SPB component, Spc42p. One SPB assembly mutant contained a mutation in a previously uncharacterized open reading frame that we call MPS3 (for monopolar spindle). mps3-1 mutants arrest in mitosis with monopolar spindles at the nonpermissive temperature, suggesting a defect in SPB duplication. Execution point experiments revealed that MPS3 function is required for the first step of SPB duplication in G1. Like cells containing mutations in two other genes required for this step of SPB duplication (CDC31 and KAR1), mps3-1 mutants arrest with a single unduplicated SPB that lacks an associated half-bridge. MPS3 encodes an essential integral membrane protein that localizes to the SPB half-bridge. Genetic interactions between MPS3 and CDC31 and binding of Cdc31p to Mps3p in vitro, as well as the fact that Cdc31p localization to the SPB is partially dependent on Mps3p function, suggest that one function for Mps3p during SPB duplication is to recruit Cdc31p, the yeast centrin homologue, to the half-bridge.
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