Drosophila CENP-A mutations cause a BubR1-dependent early mitotic delay without normal localization of kinetochore components.
ABSTRACT: The centromere/kinetochore complex plays an essential role in cell and organismal viability by ensuring chromosome movements during mitosis and meiosis. The kinetochore also mediates the spindle attachment checkpoint (SAC), which delays anaphase initiation until all chromosomes have achieved bipolar attachment of kinetochores to the mitotic spindle. CENP-A proteins are centromere-specific chromatin components that provide both a structural and a functional foundation for kinetochore formation. Here we show that cells in Drosophila embryos homozygous for null mutations in CENP-A (CID) display an early mitotic delay. This mitotic delay is not suppressed by inactivation of the DNA damage checkpoint and is unlikely to be the result of DNA damage. Surprisingly, mutation of the SAC component BUBR1 partially suppresses this mitotic delay. Furthermore, cid mutants retain an intact SAC response to spindle disruption despite the inability of many kinetochore proteins, including SAC components, to target to kinetochores. We propose that SAC components are able to monitor spindle assembly and inhibit cell cycle progression in the absence of sustained kinetochore localization.
Project description:The centromere-specific histone variant CENP-A (CID in Drosophila) is a structural and functional foundation for kinetochore formation and chromosome segregation. Here, we show that overexpressed CID is mislocalized into normally noncentromeric regions in Drosophila tissue culture cells and animals. Analysis of mitoses in living and fixed cells reveals that mitotic delays, anaphase bridges, chromosome fragmentation, and cell and organismal lethality are all direct consequences of CID mislocalization. In addition, proteins that are normally restricted to endogenous kinetochores assemble at a subset of ectopic CID incorporation regions. The presence of microtubule motors and binding proteins, spindle attachments, and aberrant chromosome morphologies demonstrate that these ectopic kinetochores are functional. We conclude that CID mislocalization promotes formation of ectopic centromeres and multicentric chromosomes, which causes chromosome missegregation, aneuploidy, and growth defects. Thus, CENP-A mislocalization is one possible mechanism for genome instability during cancer progression, as well as centromere plasticity during evolution.
Project description:Kinetochores are the chromosomal sites for spindle interaction and play a vital role for chromosome segregation. The composition of kinetochore proteins and their cellular roles are, however, poorly understood in higher eukaryotes. We identified a novel kinetochore protein family conserved from yeast to human that is essential for equal chromosome segregation. The human homologue hMis12 of yeast spMis12/scMtw1 retains conserved sequence features and locates at the kinetochore region indistinguishable from CENP-A, a centromeric histone variant. RNA interference (RNAi) analysis of HeLa cells shows that the reduced hMis12 results in misaligned metaphase chromosomes, lagging anaphase chromosomes, and interphase micronuclei without mitotic delay, while CENP-A is located at kinetochores. Further, the metaphase spindle length is abnormally extended. Spindle checkpoint protein hMad2 temporally localizes at kinetochores at early mitotic stages after RNAi. The RNAi deficiency of CENP-A leads to a similar mitotic phenotype, but the kinetochore signals of other kinetochore proteins, hMis6 and CENP-C, are greatly diminished. RNAi for hMis6, like that of a kinetochore kinesin CENP-E, induces mitotic arrest. Kinetochore localization of hMis12 is unaffected by CENP-A RNAi, demonstrating an independent pathway of CENP-A in human kinetochores.
Project description:We examined the distribution of the dynein-associated protein NudE in Drosophila larval brain neuroblasts and spermatocytes, and analyzed the phenotypic consequences of a nudE null mutation. NudE can associate with kinetochores, spindles and the nuclear envelope. In nudE mutant brain mitotic cells, centrosomes are often detached from the poles. Moreover, the centrosomes of mutant primary spermatocytes do not migrate from the cell cortex to the nuclear envelope, establishing a new role for NudE. In mutant neuroblasts, chromosomes fail to congress to a tight metaphase plate, and cell division arrests because of spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) activation. The targeting of NudE to mitotic kinetochores requires the dynein-interacting protein Lis1, and surprisingly Cenp-meta, a Drosophila CENP-E homolog. NudE is non-essential for the targeting of all mitotic kinetochore components tested. However, in the absence of NudE, the 'shedding' of proteins off the kinetochore is abrogated and the SAC cannot be turned off, implying that NudE regulates dynein function at the kinetochore.
Project description:Centromere protein F (CENP-F) (or mitosin) accumulates to become an abundant nuclear protein in G2, assembles at kinetochores in late G2, remains kinetochore-bound until anaphase, and is degraded at the end of mitosis. Here we show that the absence of nuclear CENP-F does not affect cell cycle progression in S and G2. In a subset of CENP-F depleted cells, kinetochore assembly fails completely, thereby provoking massive chromosome mis-segregation. In contrast, the majority of CENP-F depleted cells exhibit a strong mitotic delay with reduced tension between kinetochores of aligned, bi-oriented sister chromatids and decreased stability of kinetochore microtubules. These latter kinetochores generate mitotic checkpoint signaling when unattached, recruiting maximum levels of Mad2. Use of YFP-marked Mad1 reveals that throughout the mitotic delay some aligned, CENP-F depleted kinetochores continuously recruit Mad1. Others rebind YFP-Mad1 intermittently so as to produce 'twinkling', demonstrating cycles of mitotic checkpoint reactivation and silencing and a crucial role for CENP-F in efficient assembly of a stable microtubule-kinetochore interface.
Project description:Outer kinetochore assembly enables chromosome attachment to microtubules and spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) signaling in mitosis. Aurora B kinase controls kinetochore assembly by phosphorylating the Mis12 complex (Mis12C) subunit Dsn1. Current models propose Dsn1 phosphorylation relieves autoinhibition, allowing Mis12C binding to inner kinetochore component CENP-C. Using Xenopus laevis egg extracts and biochemical reconstitution, we found that autoinhibition of the Mis12C by Dsn1 impedes its phosphorylation by Aurora B. Our data indicate that the INCENP central region increases Dsn1 phosphorylation by enriching Aurora B at inner kinetochores, close to CENP-C. Furthermore, centromere-bound CENP-C does not exchange in mitosis, and CENP-C binding to the Mis12C dramatically increases Dsn1 phosphorylation by Aurora B. We propose that the coincidence of Aurora B and CENP-C at inner kinetochores ensures the fidelity of kinetochore assembly. We also found that the central region is required for the SAC beyond its role in kinetochore assembly, suggesting that kinetochore enrichment of Aurora B promotes the phosphorylation of other kinetochore substrates.
Project description:Kinetochores are superprotein complexes that orchestrate chromosome segregation via a dynamic interaction with spindle microtubules. A physical connection between CENP-C and the Mis12-Ndc80-Knl1 (KMN) protein network is an important pathway that is used to assemble kinetochores on CENP-A nucleosomes. Multiple outer kinetochore components are phosphorylated by Aurora B kinase to activate the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and to ensure accurate chromosome segregation. However, it is unknown whether Aurora B can phosphorylate inner kinetochore components to facilitate proper mitotic chromosome segregation. Here, we reported the structure of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mis12-Nnf1 complex and showed that N-terminal residues 26-50 in Cnp3 (the CENP-C homolog of S. pombe) are responsible for interacting with the Mis12 complex. Interestingly, Thr28 of Cnp3 is a substrate of Ark1 (the Aurora B homolog of S. pombe), and phosphorylation impairs the interaction between the Cnp3 and Mis12 complex. The expression of a phosphorylation-mimicking Cnp3 mutant results in defective chromosome segregation due to improper kinetochore assembly. These results establish a previously uncharacterized regulatory mechanism involved in CENP-C-Mis12-facilitated kinetochore attachment error correction to ensure accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis.
Project description:Chromosome segregation in mitosis is orchestrated by dynamic interaction between spindle microtubules and the kinetochore. Septin (SEPT) belongs to a conserved family of polymerizing GTPases localized to the metaphase spindle during mitosis. Previous study showed that SEPT2 depletion results in chromosome mis-segregation correlated with a loss of centromere-associated protein E (CENP-E) from the kinetochores of congressing chromosomes (1). However, it has remained elusive as to whether CENP-E physically interacts with SEPT and how this interaction orchestrates chromosome segregation in mitosis. Here we show that SEPT7 is required for a stable kinetochore localization of CENP-E in HeLa and MDCK cells. SEPT7 stabilizes the kinetochore association of CENP-E by directly interacting with its C-terminal domain. The region of SEPT7 binding to CENP-E was mapped to its C-terminal domain by glutathione S-transferase pull-down and yeast two-hybrid assays. Immunofluorescence study shows that SEPT7 filaments distribute along the mitotic spindle and terminate at the kinetochore marked by CENP-E. Remarkably, suppression of synthesis of SEPT7 by small interfering RNA abrogated the localization of CENP-E to the kinetochore and caused aberrant chromosome segregation. These mitotic defects and kinetochore localization of CENP-E can be successfully rescued by introducing exogenous GFP-SEPT7 into the SEPT7-depleted cells. These SEPT7-suppressed cells display reduced tension at kinetochores of bi-orientated chromosomes and activated mitotic spindle checkpoint marked by Mad2 and BubR1 labelings on these misaligned chromosomes. These findings reveal a key role for the SEPT7-CENP-E interaction in the distribution of CENP-E to the kinetochore and achieving chromosome alignment. We propose that SEPT7 forms a link between kinetochore distribution of CENP-E and the mitotic spindle checkpoint.
Project description:Accurate chromosome segregation requires assembly of the multiprotein kinetochore complex at centromeres. Although prior work identified the centromeric histone H3-variant CENP-A as the important upstream factor necessary for centromere specification, in human cells CENP-A is not sufficient for kinetochore assembly. Here, we demonstrate that two constitutive DNA-binding kinetochore components, CENP-C and CENP-T, function to direct kinetochore formation. Replacing the DNA-binding regions of CENP-C and CENP-T with alternate chromosome-targeting domains recruits these proteins to ectopic loci, resulting in CENP-A-independent kinetochore assembly. These ectopic kinetochore-like foci are functional based on the stoichiometric assembly of multiple kinetochore components, including the microtubule-binding KMN network, the presence of microtubule attachments, the microtubule-sensitive recruitment of the spindle checkpoint protein Mad2, and the segregation behavior of foci-containing chromosomes. We additionally find that CENP-T phosphorylation regulates the mitotic assembly of both endogenous and ectopic kinetochores. Thus, CENP-C and CENP-T form a critical regulated platform for vertebrate kinetochore assembly.
Project description:During cell division, chromosomes are segregated to nascent daughter cells by attaching to the microtubules of the mitotic spindle through the kinetochore. Kinetochores are assembled on a specialized chromatin domain called the centromere, which is characterized by the replacement of nucleosomal histone H3 with the histone H3 variant centromere protein A (CENP-A). CENP-A is essential for centromere and kinetochore formation in all eukaryotes but it is unknown how CENP-A chromatin directs centromere and kinetochore assembly. Here we generate synthetic CENP-A chromatin that recapitulates essential steps of centromere and kinetochore assembly in vitro. We show that reconstituted CENP-A chromatin when added to cell-free extracts is sufficient for the assembly of centromere and kinetochore proteins, microtubule binding and stabilization, and mitotic checkpoint function. Using chromatin assembled from histone H3/CENP-A chimaeras, we demonstrate that the conserved carboxy terminus of CENP-A is necessary and sufficient for centromere and kinetochore protein recruitment and function but that the CENP-A targeting domain--required for new CENP-A histone assembly--is not. These data show that two of the primary requirements for accurate chromosome segregation, the assembly of the kinetochore and the propagation of CENP-A chromatin, are specified by different elements in the CENP-A histone. Our unique cell-free system enables complete control and manipulation of the chromatin substrate and thus presents a powerful tool to study centromere and kinetochore assembly.
Project description:Centromere function requires the coordination of many processes including kinetochore assembly, sister chromatid cohesion, spindle attachment and chromosome movement. Here we show that CID, the Drosophila homologue of the CENP-A centromere-specific H3-like proteins, colocalizes with molecular-genetically defined functional centromeres in minichromosomes. Injection of CID antibodies into early embryos, as well as RNA interference in tissue-culture cells, showed that CID is required for several mitotic processes. Deconvolution fluorescence microscopy showed that CID chromatin is physically separate from proteins involved in sister cohesion (MEI-S332), centric condensation (PROD), kinetochore function (ROD, ZW10 and BUB1) and heterochromatin structure (HP1). CID localization is unaffected by mutations in mei-S332, Su(var)2-5 (HP1), prod or polo. Furthermore, the localization of POLO, CENP-meta, ROD, BUB1 and MEI-S332, but not PROD or HP1, depends on the presence of functional CID. We conclude that the centromere and flanking heterochromatin are physically and functionally separable protein domains that are required for different inheritance functions, and that CID is required for normal kinetochore formation and function, as well as cell-cycle progression.