Death receptor-induced apoptosis reveals a novel interplay between the chromosomal passenger complex and CENP-C during interphase.
ABSTRACT: Despite the fact that the chromosomal passenger complex is well known to regulate kinetochore behavior in mitosis, no functional link has yet been established between the complex and kinetochore structure. In addition, remarkably little is known about how the complex targets to centromeres. Here, in a study of caspase-8 activation during death receptor-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, we have found that cleaved caspase-8 rapidly translocates to the nucleus and that this translocation is correlated with loss of the centromere protein (CENP)-C, resulting in extensive disruption of centromeres. Caspase-8 activates cytoplasmic caspase-7, which is likely to be the primary caspase responsible for cleavage of CENP-C and INCENP, a key chromosomal passenger protein. Caspase-mediated cleavage of CENP-C and INCENP results in their mislocalization and the subsequent mislocalization of Aurora B kinase. Our results demonstrate that the chromosomal passenger complex is displaced from centromeres as a result of caspase activation. Furthermore, mutation of the primary caspase cleavage sites of INCENP and CENP-C and expression of noncleavable CENP-C or INCENP prevent the mislocalization of the passenger complex after caspase activation. Our studies provide the first evidence for a functional interplay between the passenger complex and CENP-C.
Project description:Aurora B is a mitotic protein kinase that phosphorylates histone H3, behaves as a chromosomal passenger protein, and functions in cytokinesis. We investigated a role for Aurora B with respect to human centromere protein A (CENP-A), a centromeric histone H3 homologue. Aurora B concentrates at centromeres in early G2, associates with histone H3 and centromeres at the times when histone H3 and CENP-A are phosphorylated, and phosphorylates histone H3 and CENP-A in vitro at a similar target serine residue. Dominant negative phosphorylation site mutants of CENP-A result in a delay at the terminal stage of cytokinesis (cell separation). The only molecular defects detected in analysis of 22 chromosomal, spindle, and regulatory proteins were disruptions in localization of inner centromere protein (INCENP), Aurora B, and a putative partner phosphatase, PP1gamma1. Our data support a model where CENP-A phosphorylation is involved in regulating Aurora B, INCENP, and PP1gamma1 targeting within the cell. These experiments identify an unexpected role for the kinetochore in regulation of cytokinesis.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex of Aurora B kinase, INCENP, and Survivin has essential regulatory roles at centromeres and the central spindle in mitosis. Here, we describe Borealin, a novel member of the complex. Approximately half of Aurora B in mitotic cells is complexed with INCENP, Borealin, and Survivin; and Borealin binds Survivin and INCENP in vitro. A second complex contains Aurora B and INCENP, but no Borealin or Survivin. Depletion of Borealin by RNA interference delays mitotic progression and results in kinetochore-spindle misattachments and an increase in bipolar spindles associated with ectopic asters. The extra poles, which apparently form after chromosomes achieve a bipolar orientation, severely disrupt the partitioning of chromosomes in anaphase. Borealin depletion has little effect on histone H3 serine10 phosphorylation. These results implicate the chromosomal passenger holocomplex in the maintenance of spindle integrity and suggest that histone H3 serine10 phosphorylation is performed by an Aurora B-INCENP subcomplex.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex protein INCENP is required in mitosis for chromosome condensation, spindle attachment and function, and cytokinesis. Here, we show that INCENP has an essential function in the specialized behavior of centromeres in meiosis. Mutations affecting Drosophila incenp profoundly affect chromosome segregation in both meiosis I and II, due, at least in part, to premature sister chromatid separation in meiosis I. INCENP binds to the cohesion protector protein MEI-S332, which is also an excellent in vitro substrate for Aurora B kinase. A MEI-S332 mutant that is only poorly phosphorylated by Aurora B is defective in localization to centromeres. These results implicate the chromosomal passenger complex in directly regulating MEI-S332 localization and, therefore, the control of sister chromatid cohesion in meiosis.
Project description:In all eukaryotes, segregation of mitotic chromosomes requires their interaction with spindle microtubules. To dissect this interaction, we use live and fixed assays in the one-cell stage Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. We compare the consequences of depleting homologues of the centromeric histone CENP-A, the kinetochore structural component CENP-C, and the chromosomal passenger protein INCENP. Depletion of either CeCENP-A or CeCENP-C results in an identical "kinetochore null" phenotype, characterized by complete failure of mitotic chromosome segregation as well as failure to recruit other kinetochore components and to assemble a mechanically stable spindle. The similarity of their depletion phenotypes, combined with a requirement for CeCENP-A to localize CeCENP-C but not vice versa, suggest that a key step in kinetochore assembly is the recruitment of CENP-C by CENP-A-containing chromatin. Parallel analysis of CeINCENP-depleted embryos revealed mitotic chromosome segregation defects different from those observed in the absence of CeCENP-A/C. Defects are observed before and during anaphase, but the chromatin separates into two equivalently sized masses. Mechanically stable spindles assemble that show defects later in anaphase and telophase. Furthermore, kinetochore assembly and the recruitment of CeINCENP to chromosomes are independent. These results suggest distinct roles for the kinetochore and the chromosomal passengers in mitotic chromosome segregation.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) coordinates chromosomal and cytoskeletal events of mitosis. The enzymatic core of this complex (Aurora-B) is guided through the mitotic cell by its companion chromosomal passenger proteins, inner centromere protein (INCENP), Survivin and Borealin/Dasra-B, thereby allowing it to act at the right place at the right time. Here, we addressed the individual contributions of INCENP, Survivin and Borealin to the proper functioning of this complex. We show that INCENP has an important role in stabilizing the complex, and that Borealin acts to promote binding of Survivin to INCENP. Importantly, when Survivin is directly fused to INCENP, this hybrid can restore CPC function at the centromeres and midbody, even in the absence of Borealin and the centromere-targeting domain of INCENP. Thus, Survivin is an important mediator of centromere and midbody docking of Aurora-B during mitosis.
Project description:The assembly of the mitotic centromere has been extensively studied in recent years, revealing the sequence and regulation of protein loading to this chromosome domain. However, few studies have analyzed centromere assembly during mammalian meiosis. This study specifically targets this approach on mouse spermatocytes. We have found that during prophase I, the proteins of the chromosomal passenger complex Borealin, INCENP, and Aurora-B load sequentially to the inner centromere before Shugoshin 2 and MCAK. The last proteins to be assembled are the outer kinetochore proteins BubR1 and CENP-E. All these proteins are not detected at the centromere during anaphase/telophase I and are then reloaded during interkinesis. The loading sequence of the analyzed proteins is similar during prophase I and interkinesis. These findings demonstrate that the interkinesis stage, regularly overlooked, is essential for centromere and kinetochore maturation and reorganization previous to the second meiotic division. We also demonstrate that Shugoshin 2 is necessary for the loading of MCAK at the inner centromere, but is dispensable for the loading of the outer kinetochore proteins BubR1 and CENP-E.
Project description:CENP-A acts as an important epigenetic marker for kinetochore specification. However, the mechanisms by which CENP-A is incorporated into centromeres and the structural basis for kinetochore formation downstream of CENP-A remain unclear. Here, we used a unique chromosome-engineering system in which kinetochore proteins are targeted to a noncentromeric site after the endogenous centromere is conditionally removed. Using this system, we created two distinct types of engineered kinetochores, both of which were stably maintained in chicken DT40 cells. Ectopic targeting of full-length HJURP, CENP-C, CENP-I, or the CENP-C C terminus generated engineered kinetochores containing major kinetochore components, including CENP-A. In contrast, ectopic targeting of the CENP-T or CENP-C N terminus generated functional kinetochores that recruit the microtubule-binding Ndc80 complex and chromosome passenger complex (CPC), but lack CENP-A and most constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN) proteins. Based on the analysis of these different engineered kinetochores, we conclude that the CCAN has two distinct roles: recruiting CENP-A to establish the kinetochore and serving as a structural core to directly recruit kinetochore proteins.
Project description:The histone H3 variant CENP-A confers epigenetic identity to the centromere and plays crucial roles in the assembly and function of the kinetochore, thus ensuring proper segregation of our chromosomes. CENP-A containing nucleosomes exhibit unique structural specificities and lack the complex profile of gene expression-associated histone posttranslational modifications found in canonical histone H3 and the H3.3 variant. CENP-A mislocalization into noncentromeric regions resulting from its overexpression leads to chromosomal segregation aberrations and genome instability. Overexpression of CENP-A is a feature of many cancers and is associated with malignant progression and poor outcome. The recent years have seen impressive progress in our understanding of the mechanisms that orchestrate CENP-A deposition at native centromeres and ectopic loci. They have witnessed the description of novel, heterotypic CENP-A/H3.3 nucleosome particles and the exploration of the phenotypes associated with the deregulation of CENP-A and its chaperones in tumor cells. Here, we review the structural specificities of CENP-A nucleosomes, the epigenetic features that characterize the centrochromatin and the mechanisms and factors that orchestrate CENP-A deposition at centromeres. We then review our knowledge of CENP-A ectopic distribution, highlighting experimental strategies that have enabled key discoveries. Finally, we discuss the implications of deregulated CENP-A in cancer.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), consisting of the serine/threonine kinase Aurora B, the inner centromere protein INCENP, Survivin, and Borealin/DasraB, has essential functions at the centromere in ensuring correct chromosome alignment and segregation. Despite observations that small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of any one member of the CPC abolishes localization of the other subunits, it remains unclear how the complex is targeted to the centromere. We have now identified a ternary subcomplex of the CPC comprising Survivin, Borealin, and the N-terminal 58 amino acids of INCENP in vitro and in vivo. This subcomplex was found to be essential and sufficient for targeting to the centromere. Notably, Aurora B kinase, the enzymatic core of the CPC, was not required for centromere localization of the subcomplex. We demonstrate that CPC targeting to the centromere does not depend on CENP-A and hMis12, two core components for kinetochore/centromere assembly, and provide evidence that the CPC may be directed to centromeric DNA directly via the Borealin subunit. Our findings thus establish a functional module within the CPC that assembles on the N terminus of INCENP and controls centromere recruitment.
Project description:The mechanism of mitotic chromosome condensation is poorly understood, but even less is known about the mechanism of formation of the primary constriction, or centromere. A proteomic analysis of mitotic chromosome scaffolds led to the identification of CENP-V, a novel kinetochore protein related to a bacterial enzyme that detoxifies formaldehyde, a by-product of histone demethylation in eukaryotic cells. Overexpression of CENP-V leads to hypercondensation of pericentromeric heterochromatin, a phenotype that is abolished by mutations in the putative catalytic site. CENP-V depletion in HeLa cells leads to abnormal expansion of the primary constriction of mitotic chromosomes, mislocalization and destabilization of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) and alterations in the distribution of H3K9me3 in interphase nucleoplasm. CENP-V-depleted cells suffer defects in chromosome alignment in metaphase, lagging chromosomes in anaphase, failure of cytokinesis and rapid cell death. CENP-V provides a novel link between centromeric chromatin, the primary constriction and the CPC.