Drosophila EB1 is important for proper assembly, dynamics, and positioning of the mitotic spindle.
ABSTRACT: EB1 is an evolutionarily conserved protein that localizes to the plus ends of growing microtubules. In yeast, the EB1 homologue (BIM1) has been shown to modulate microtubule dynamics and link microtubules to the cortex, but the functions of metazoan EB1 proteins remain unknown. Using a novel preparation of the Drosophila S2 cell line that promotes cell attachment and spreading, we visualized dynamics of single microtubules in real time and found that depletion of EB1 by RNA-mediated inhibition (RNAi) in interphase cells causes a dramatic increase in nondynamic microtubules (neither growing nor shrinking), but does not alter overall microtubule organization. In contrast, several defects in microtubule organization are observed in RNAi-treated mitotic cells, including a drastic reduction in astral microtubules, malformed mitotic spindles, defocused spindle poles, and mispositioning of spindles away from the cell center. Similar phenotypes were observed in mitotic spindles of Drosophila embryos that were microinjected with anti-EB1 antibodies. In addition, live cell imaging of mitosis in Drosophila embryos reveals defective spindle elongation and chromosomal segregation during anaphase after antibody injection. Our results reveal crucial roles for EB1 in mitosis, which we postulate involves its ability to promote the growth and interactions of microtubules within the central spindle and at the cell cortex.
Project description:Kinesin-13 motors are unusual in that they do not walk along microtubules, but instead diffuse to the ends, where they remove tubulin dimers, regulating microtubule dynamics. Here we show that Drosophila kinesin-13 klp10A regulates oocyte meiosis I spindle length and is haplo-insufficient - KLP10A, reduced by RNAi or a loss-of-function P element insertion mutant, results in elongated and mispositioned oocyte spindles, and abnormal cortical microtubule asters and aggregates. KLP10A knockdown by RNAi does not significantly affect microtubule growth rates in oocyte spindles, but, unexpectedly, EB1 binding and unbinding are slowed, suggesting a previously unobserved role for kinesin-13 in mediating EB1 binding interactions with microtubules. Kinesin-13 may regulate spindle length both by disassembling subunits from microtubule ends and facilitating EB1 binding to plus ends. We also observe an increased number of paused microtubules in klp10A RNAi knockdown spindles, consistent with a reduced frequency of microtubule catastrophes. Overall, our findings indicate that reduced kinesin-13 decreases microtubule disassembly rates and affects EB1 interactions with microtubules, rather than altering microtubule growth rates, causing spindles to elongate and abnormal cortical microtubule asters and aggregates to form.
Project description:New information has been obtained recently regarding microtubule organization in Xenopus extract spindles. These spindles assemble in vitro by chromatin-mediated microtubule nucleation and consist of randomly interspersed long and short microtubules with minus ends distributed throughout the spindle. Fluorescence speckle microscopy has led to the proposal that the Xenopus steady-state spindles contain two overlapping arrays of parallel or antiparallel microtubules with differing poleward-flux velocities. Although some of these features have also been reported for C. elegans female meiotic spindles, it is not clear whether they are representative of microtubule organization and dynamics in oocyte meiotic spindles. Here we examine anastral meiosis I spindles of live Drosophila oocytes expressing the microtubule plus end-tracking protein, EB1, fused to GFP, and find fluorescent particles throughout the spindle and movement toward both the poles and the equator. EB1 particle velocities, corresponding to microtubule growth rates, are similar in both directions, but slower than growth from the poles in mitotic spindles of early embryos. Meiosis I spindles yielded data from photobleaching analysis showing similar microtubule growth rates and dynamics at the poles and the equator, consistent with spindle microtubules of mixed polarity, differing from early-embryo mitotic spindles.
Project description:In metaphase Xenopus egg extracts, global microtubule growth is mainly promoted by two unrelated microtubule stabilizers, end-binding protein 1 (EB1) and XMAP215. Here, we explore their role and potential redundancy in the regulation of spindle assembly and function. We find that at physiological expression levels, both proteins are required for proper spindle architecture: Spindles assembled in the absence of EB1 or at decreased XMAP215 levels are short and frequently multipolar. Moreover, the reduced density of microtubules at the equator of DeltaEB1 or DeltaXMAP215 spindles leads to faulty kinetochore-microtubule attachments. These spindles also display diminished poleward flux rates and, upon anaphase induction, they neither segregate chromosomes nor reorganize into interphasic microtubule arrays. However, EB1 and XMAP215 nonredundantly regulate spindle assembly because an excess of XMAP215 can compensate for the absence of EB1, whereas the overexpression of EB1 cannot substitute for reduced XMAP215 levels. Our data indicate that EB1 could positively regulate XMAP215 by promoting its binding to the microtubules. Finally, we show that disruption of the mitosis-specific XMAP215-EB1 interaction produces a phenotype similar to that of either EB1 or XMAP215 depletion. Therefore, the XMAP215-EB1 interaction is required for proper spindle organization and chromosome segregation in Xenopus egg extracts.
Project description:Introduction:The microtubule motor protein kinesin-5 is well known to establish the bipolar spindle by outward sliding of antiparallel interpolar microtubules. In yeast, kinesin-5 also facilitates chromosome alignment "congression" at the spindle equator by preferentially depolymerizing long kinetochore microtubules (kMTs). The motor protein kinesin-8 has also been linked to chromosome congression. Therefore, we sought to determine whether kinesin-5 or kinesin-8 facilitates chromosome congression in insect spindles. Methods:RNAi of the kinesin-5 Klp61F and kinesin-8 Klp67A were performed separately in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells to test for inhibited chromosome congression. Klp61F RNAi, Klp67A RNAi, and control metaphase mitotic spindles expressing fluorescent tubulin and fluorescent Cid were imaged, and their fluorescence distributions were compared. Results:RNAi of Klp61F with a weak Klp61F knockdown resulted in longer kMTs and less congressed kinetochores compared to control over a range of conditions, consistent with kinesin-5 length-dependent depolymerase activity. RNAi of the kinesin-8 Klp67A revealed that kMTs relative to the spindle lengths were not longer compared to control, but rather that the spindles were longer, indicating that Klp67A acts preferentially as a length-dependent depolymerase on interpolar microtubules without significantly affecting kMT length and chromosome congression. Conclusions:This study demonstrates that in addition to establishing the bipolar spindle, kinesin-5 regulates kMT length to facilitate chromosome congression in insect spindles. It expands on previous yeast studies, and it expands the role of kinesin-5 to include kMT assembly regulation in eukaryotic mitosis.
Project description:Recently, we have shown that a cancer causing truncation in adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) (APC(1-1450)) dominantly interferes with mitotic spindle function, suggesting APC regulates microtubule dynamics during mitosis. Here, we examine the possibility that APC mutants interfere with the function of EB1, a plus-end microtubule-binding protein that interacts with APC and is required for normal microtubule dynamics. We show that siRNA-mediated inhibition of APC, EB1, or APC and EB1 together give rise to similar defects in mitotic spindles and chromosome alignment without arresting cells in mitosis; in contrast inhibition of CLIP170 or LIS1 cause distinct spindle defects and mitotic arrest. We show that APC(1-1450) acts as a dominant negative by forming a hetero-oligomer with the full-length APC and preventing it from interacting with EB1, which is consistent with a functional relationship between APC and EB1. Live-imaging of mitotic cells expressing EB1-GFP demonstrates that APC(1-1450) compromises the dynamics of EB1-comets, increasing the frequency of EB1-GFP pausing. Together these data provide novel insight into how APC may regulate mitotic spindle function and how errors in chromosome segregation are tolerated in tumor cells.
Project description:Survivin is a member of the chromosomal passenger complex implicated in kinetochore attachment, bipolar spindle formation, and cytokinesis. However, the mechanism by which survivin modulates these processes is unknown. Here, we show by time-lapse imaging of cells expressing either green fluorescent protein (GFP)-alpha-tubulin or the microtubule plus-end binding protein GFP-EB1 that depletion of survivin by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) increased both the number of microtubules nucleated by centrosomes and the incidence of microtubule catastrophe, the transition from microtubule growth to shrinking. In contrast, survivin overexpression reduced centrosomal microtubule nucleation and suppressed both microtubule dynamics in mitotic spindles and bidirectional growth of microtubules in midbodies during cytokinesis. siRNA depletion or pharmacologic inhibition of another chromosomal passenger protein Aurora B, had no effect on microtubule dynamics or nucleation in interphase or mitotic cells even though mitosis was impaired. We propose a model in which survivin modulates several mitotic events, including spindle and interphase microtubule organization, the spindle assembly checkpoint and cytokinesis through its ability to modulate microtubule nucleation and dynamics. This pathway may affect the microtubule-dependent generation of aneuploidy and defects in cell polarity in cancer cells, where survivin is commonly up-regulated.
Project description:Upon entry into mitosis, many microtubules are nucleated that coordinately integrate into a stable, yet dynamic, mitotic spindle apparatus. In a recent publication, we examined microtubule-generating pathways within a single model system, the Drosophila syncytial embryo. We found that, following depolymerisation of metaphase spindle microtubules by cold treatment, spindles regenerate predominantly from microtubules nucleated within the vicinity of chromatin. We also showed this chromatin-mediated microtubule nucleation is mediated by the Drosophila homolog of a vertebrate spindle assembly factor (SAF), HURP and is dependent on the conserved microtubule amplifying protein complex, Augmin. Here, we expand our investigation into Drosophila SAFs, providing evidence that, in vitro, both D-HURP and D-TPX2 are able to bind to and stabilize microtubules. We show that GFP-D-HURP purified from embryos interacts with Importin-? and Augmin and, consistent with this, demonstrate that the underlying basis of chromatin-mediated microtubule nucleation in Drosophila syncytial embryos is dependent on Ran-GTP.
Project description:Microtubules execute diverse mitotic events that are spatially and temporally separated; the underlying regulation is poorly understood. By combining drug treatments, large-scale immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we report the first comprehensive map of mitotic phase-specific protein interactions of the microtubule-end binding protein, EB1. EB1 interacts with some, but not all, of its partners throughout mitosis. We show that the interaction of EB1 with Astrin-SKAP complex, a key regulator of chromosome segregation, is enhanced during prometaphase, compared to anaphase. We find that EB1 and EB3, another EB family member, can interact directly with SKAP, in an SXIP-motif dependent manner. Using an SXIP defective mutant that cannot interact with EB, we uncover two distinct pools of SKAP at spindle microtubules and kinetochores. We demonstrate the importance of SKAP's SXIP-motif in controlling microtubule growth rates and anaphase onset, without grossly disrupting spindle function. Thus, we provide the first comprehensive map of temporal changes in EB1 interactors during mitosis and highlight the importance of EB protein interactions in ensuring normal mitosis.
Project description:We describe a Drosophila gene, orbit, that encodes a conserved 165-kD microtubule-associated protein (MAP) with GTP binding motifs. Hypomorphic mutations in orbit lead to a maternal effect resulting in branched and bent mitotic spindles in the syncytial embryo. In the larval central nervous system, such mutants have an elevated mitotic index with some mitotic cells showing an increase in ploidy. Amorphic alleles show late lethality and greater frequencies of hyperploid mitotic cells. The presence of cells in the hypomorphic mutant in which the chromosomes can be arranged, either in a circular metaphase or an anaphase-like configuration on monopolar spindles, suggests that polyploidy arises through spindle and chromosome segregation defects rather than defects in cytokinesis. A role for the Orbit protein in regulating microtubule behavior in mitosis is suggested by its association with microtubules throughout the spindle at all mitotic stages, by its copurification with microtubules from embryonic extracts, and by the finding that the Orbit protein directly binds to MAP-free microtubules in a GTP-dependent manner.
Project description:The mitotic spindle is crucial to achieve segregation of sister chromatids. To identify new mitotic spindle assembly regulators, we isolated 855 microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) from Drosophila melanogaster mitotic or interphasic embryos. Using RNAi, we screened 96 poorly characterized genes in the Drosophila central nervous system to establish their possible role during spindle assembly. We found that Ensconsin/MAP7 mutant neuroblasts display shorter metaphase spindles, a defect caused by a reduced microtubule polymerization rate and enhanced by centrosome ablation. In agreement with a direct effect in regulating spindle length, Ensconsin overexpression triggered an increase in spindle length in S2 cells, whereas purified Ensconsin stimulated microtubule polymerization in vitro. Interestingly, ensc-null mutant flies also display defective centrosome separation and positioning during interphase, a phenotype also detected in kinesin-1 mutants. Collectively, our results suggest that Ensconsin cooperates with its binding partner Kinesin-1 during interphase to trigger centrosome separation. In addition, Ensconsin promotes microtubule polymerization during mitosis to control spindle length independent of Kinesin-1.