Strong kinetochore-microtubule attachments are essential for faithful segregation of sister chromatids during mitosis. The Dam1 and Ndc80 complexes are the main microtubule binding components of the budding yeast kinetochore. Cooperation between these two complexes enhances kinetochore-microtubule coupling and is regulated by Aurora B kinase. We show that the Ndc80 complex can simultaneously bind and bridge across two Dam1 complex rings through a tripartite interaction, each component of which is regulated by Aurora B kinase. Mutations in any one of the Ndc80p interaction regions abrogates the Ndc80 complex’s ability to bind two Dam1 rings in vitro, and results in kinetochore biorientation and microtubule attachment defects in vivo. We also show that an extra-long Ndc80 complex, engineered to space the two Dam1 rings further apart, does not support growth. Taken together, our work suggests that each kinetochore in vivo contains two Dam1 rings and that proper ring-ring spacing is vital.
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