The spindle orientation checkpoint (SPOC) of budding yeast delays mitotic exit when cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) are defective, causing the spindle to become misaligned. Delay is achieved by maintaining the activity of the Bfa1-Bub2 guanosine triphosphatase-activating protein complex, an inhibitor of mitotic exit. In this study, we show that the spindle pole body (SPB) component Spc72, a transforming acidic coiled coil-like molecule that interacts with the γ-tubulin complex, recruits Kin4 kinase to both SPBs when cytoplasmic MTs are defective. This allows Kin4 to phosphorylate the SPB-associated Bfa1, rendering it resistant to inactivation by Cdc5 polo kinase. Consistently, forced targeting of Kin4 to both SPBs delays mitotic exit even when the anaphase spindle is correctly aligned. Moreover, we present evidence that Spc72 has an additional function in SPOC regulation that is independent of the recruitment of Kin4. Thus, Spc72 provides a missing link between cytoplasmic MT function and components of the SPOC.
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