Mad1 is a non-essential protein which in yeast has a function in the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). This checkpoint monitors chromosome attachment to spindle microtubules and prevents cells from starting anaphase until the spindle is built up. The name Mad refers to the observation that mutant cells are mitotic arrest deficient (MAD) during microtubule depolymerization. Mad1 recruits the anaphase inhibitor Mad2 to unattached kinetochores and is essential for Mad2-Cdc20 complex formation in vivo but not in vitro. In vivo, Mad1 acts as a competitive inhibitor of the Mad2-Cdc20 complex. Mad1 is phosphorylated by Mps1 which then leads together with other activities to the formation of the mitotic checkpoint complex (MCC). Thereby it inhibits the activity of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C). Homologs of Mad1 are conserved in eukaryotes from yeast to mammals.