Yeast two-hybrid and genetic interaction screens indicate that Bir1p, a yeast protein containing phylogenetically conserved antiapoptotic repeat domains called baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis repeats (BIRs), is involved in chromosome segregation events. In the two-hybrid screen, Bir1p specifically interacts with Ndc10p, an essential component of the yeast kinetochore. Although Bir1p carries two BIR motifs in the N-terminal region, the C-terminal third of the protein is sufficient to provide strong interaction with Ndc10p and moderate interaction with Skp1p, another essential component of the yeast kinetochore. In addition, deletion of BIR1 is synthetically lethal with deletion of CBF1 or CTF19, genes specifying two other components of the yeast kinetochore. Yeast cells deleted of BIR1 have a chromosome-loss phenotype, which can be completely rescued by elevating NDC10 dosage. Furthermore, overexpression of either full-length or the C-terminal region of Bir1p can efficiently suppress the chromosome-loss phenotype of both bir1Δ null and skp1-4 mutants. Our data suggest that Bir1p participates in chromosome segregation events, either directly or via interaction with kinetochore proteins, and these effects are apparently not mediated by the BIR domains of Bir1p
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