To elucidate the regulation of kinetochore microtubules (kMTs) by kinetochore proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we need tools to characterize and compare stochastic kMT dynamics. Here we show that autoregressive moving average (ARMA) models, combined with a statistical framework for testing the significance of differences between ARMA model parameters, provide a sensitive method for identifying the subtle changes in kMT dynamics associated with kinetochore protein mutations. Applying ARMA analysis to G1 kMT dynamics, we found that 1), kMT dynamics in the kinetochore protein mutants okp1-5 and kip3Δ are different from those in wild-type, demonstrating the regulation of kMTs by kinetochore proteins; 2), the kinase Ipl1p regulates kMT dynamics also in G1; and 3), the mutant dam1-1 exhibits three different phenotypes, indicating the central role of Dam1p in maintaining the attachment of kMTs and regulating their dynamics. We also confirmed that kMT dynamics vary with temperature, and are most likely differentially regulated at 37°C. Therefore, when elucidating the role of a protein in kMT regulation using a temperature-sensitive mutant, dynamics in the mutant at its nonpermissive temperature must be compared to those in wild-type at the same temperature, not to those in the mutant at its permissive temperature.
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