During cell division, sister chromosomes segregate from each other on a microtubule-based structure called the mitotic spindle. Proteins bind to the centromere, a region of chromosomal DNA, to form the kinetochore, which mediates chromosome attachment to the mitotic spindle microtubules. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, genetic analysis has shown that the 28-basepair (bp) CDEIII region of the 125-bp centromere DNA sequence (CEN sequence) is the main region controlling chromosome segregation in vivo. Therefore it is likely that proteins binding to the CDEIII region link the centromeres to the microtubules during mitosis. A complex of proteins (CBF3) that binds specifically to the CDEIII DNA sequence has been isolated by affinity chromatography. Here we describe kinetochore function in vitro. The CBF3 complex can link DNA to microtubules, and the complex contains a minus-end-directed microtubule-based motor. We suggest that microtubule-based motors form the fundamental link between microtubules and chromosomes at mitosis.