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The kinetochore is a multi-protein complex that drives chromosome segregation in eukaryotes. It assembles onto centromere DNA and interacts with spindle microtubules during mitosis and meiosis. Although most eukaryotes have canonical kinetochore proteins, kinetochores of evolutionarily divergent kinetoplastid species consist of at least 20 unconventional kinetochore proteins (KKT1-20). In addition, 12 proteins (KKT-interacting proteins 1-12, KKIP1-12) are known to localize at kinetochore regions during mitosis. It remains unclear whether KKIP proteins interact with KKT proteins. Here, we report the identification of four additional kinetochore proteins, KKT22-25, in Trypanosoma brucei. KKT22 and KKT23 constitutively localize at kinetochores, while KKT24 and KKT25 localize from S phase to anaphase. KKT23 has a Gcn5-related N-acetyltransferase domain, which is not found in any kinetochore protein known to date. We also show that KKIP1 co-purifies with KKT proteins, but not with KKIP proteins. Finally, our affinity purification of KKIP2/3/4/6 identifies a number of proteins as their potential interaction partners, many of which are implicated in RNA binding or processing. These findings further support the idea that kinetoplastid kinetochores are unconventional.

Original publication




Journal article


Open Biol

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Gcn5-related N-acetyltransferase, Trypanosoma brucei, centromere, kinetochore, kinetoplastid