Depletion of centromeric MCAK leads to chromosome congression and segregation defects due to improper kinetochore attachments.
ABSTRACT: The complex behavior of chromosomes during mitosis is accomplished by precise binding and highly regulated polymerization dynamics of kinetochore microtubules. Previous studies have implicated Kin Is, unique kinesins that depolymerize microtubules, in regulating chromosome positioning. We have characterized the immunofluorescence localization of centromere-bound MCAK and found that MCAK localized to inner kinetochores during prophase but was predominantly centromeric by metaphase. Interestingly, MCAK accumulated at leading kinetochores during congression but not during segregation. We tested the consequences of MCAK disruption by injecting a centromere dominant-negative protein into prophase cells. Depletion of centromeric MCAK led to reduced centromere stretch, delayed chromosome congression, alignment defects, and severe missegregation of chromosomes. Rates of chromosome movement were unchanged, suggesting that the primary role of MCAK is not to move chromosomes. Furthermore, we found that disruption of MCAK leads to multiple kinetochore-microtubule attachment defects, including merotelic, syntelic, and combined merotelic-syntelic attachments. These findings reveal an essential role for Kin Is in prevention and/or correction of improper kinetochore-microtubule attachments.
Project description:Equal distribution of the genetic material during cell division relies on efficient congression of chromosomes to the metaphase plate. Prior to their alignment, the Dynein motor recruited to kinetochores transports a fraction of laterally-attached chromosomes along microtubules toward the spindle poles. By doing that, Dynein not only contributes to chromosome movements, but also prevents premature stabilization of end-on kinetochore-microtubule attachments. This is achieved by 2 parallel mechanisms: 1) Dynein-mediated poleward movement of chromosomes counteracts opposite polar-ejection forces (PEFs) on chromosome arms by the microtubule plus-end-directed motors chromokinesins. Otherwise, they could stabilize erroneous syntelic kinetochore-microtubule attachments and lead to the random ejection of chromosomes away from the spindle poles; and 2) By transporting chromosomes to the spindle poles, Dynein brings the former to the zone of highest Aurora A kinase activity, further destabilizing kinetochore-microtubule attachments. Thus, Dynein plays an important role in keeping chromosome segregation error-free by preventing premature stabilization of kinetochore-microtubule attachments near the spindle poles.
Project description:Chromosome congression and segregation require the proper attachment of microtubules to the two sister kinetochores. Disruption of either Aurora B kinase or the Kinesin-13 mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) increases chromosome misalignment and missegregation due to improper kinetochore-microtubule attachments. MCAK localization and activity are regulated by Aurora B, but how Aurora B phosphorylation of MCAK affects spindle assembly is unclear. Here, we show that the binding of MCAK to chromosome arms is also regulated by Aurora B and that Aurora B-dependent chromosome arm and centromere localization is regulated by distinct two-site phosphoregulatory mechanisms. MCAK association with chromosome arms is promoted by phosphorylation of T95 on MCAK, whereas phosphorylation of S196 on MCAK promotes dissociation from the arms. Although targeting of MCAK to centromeres requires phosphorylation of S110 on MCAK, dephosphorylation of T95 on MCAK increases the binding of MCAK to centromeres. Our study reveals a new role for Aurora B, which is to prevent excess MCAK binding to chromatin to facilitate chromatin-nucleated spindle assembly. Our study also shows that the interplay between multiple phosphorylation sites of MCAK may be critical to temporally and spatially control MCAK function.
Project description:The attachment of sister kinetochores by microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles establishes chromosome bipolar attachment, which generates tension on chromosomes and is essential for sister-chromatid segregation. Syntelic attachment occurs when both sister kinetochores are attached by microtubules from the same spindle pole and this attachment is unable to generate tension on chromosomes, but a reliable method to induce syntelic attachments is not available in budding yeast. The spindle checkpoint can sense the lack of tension on chromosomes as well as detached kinetochores to prevent anaphase onset. In budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, tension checkpoint proteins Aurora/Ipl1 kinase and centromere-localized Sgo1 are required to sense the absence of tension but are dispensable for the checkpoint response to detached kinetochores. We have found that the loss of function of a motor protein complex Cik1/Kar3 in budding yeast leads to syntelic attachments. Inactivation of either the spindle or tension checkpoint enables premature anaphase entry in cells with dysfunctional Cik1/Kar3, resulting in co-segregation of sister chromatids. Moreover, the abolished Kar3-kinetochore interaction in cik1 mutants suggests that the Cik1/Kar3 complex mediates chromosome movement along microtubules, which could facilitate bipolar attachment. Therefore, we can induce syntelic attachments in budding yeast by inactivating the Cik1/Kar3 complex, and this approach will be very useful to study the checkpoint response to syntelic attachments.
Project description:We have combined the proteomic analysis of Xenopus laevis in vitro-assembled chromosomes with RNA interference and live cell imaging in HeLa cells to identify novel factors required for proper chromosome segregation. The first of these is Bod1, a protein conserved throughout metazoans that associates with a large macromolecular complex and localizes with kinetochores and spindle poles during mitosis. Small interfering RNA depletion of Bod1 in HeLa cells produces elongated mitotic spindles with severe biorientation defects. Bod1-depleted cells form syntelic attachments that can oscillate and generate enough force to separate sister kinetochores, suggesting that microtubule-kinetochore interactions were intact. Releasing Bod1-depleted cells from a monastrol block increases the frequency of syntelic attachments and the number of cells displaying biorientation defects. Bod1 depletion does not affect the activity or localization of Aurora B but does cause mislocalization of the microtubule depolymerase mitotic centromere- associated kinesin and prevents its efficient phosphorylation by Aurora B. Therefore, Bod1 is a novel kinetochore protein that is required for the detection or resolution of syntelic attachments in mitotic spindles.
Project description:Most solid tumors are aneuploid, and many missegregate chromosomes at high rates in a phenomenon called chromosomal instability (CIN). CIN reflects the erosion of mitotic fidelity, and it correlates with poor patient prognosis and drug resistance. The most common mechanism causing CIN is the persistence of improper kinetochore-microtubule attachments called merotely. Chromosomes with merotelic kinetochores often manifest as lagging chromosomes in anaphase, suggesting that lagging chromosomes fail to segregate properly. However, it remains unknown whether the lagging chromosomes observed in anaphase segregate to the correct or incorrect daughter cell. To address this question, we tracked the segregation of a single human chromosome during cell division by using LacI-GFP to target an integrated LacO array. By scoring the distribution of each sister chromatid during mitosis, we show that a majority of lagging chromosomes in anaphase segregate to the correct daughter cell. Instead, sister chromatids that segregate erroneously frequently do so without obvious evidence of lagging during anaphase. This outcome is expected if sister kinetochores on a chromosome bind microtubules oriented toward the same spindle pole, and we find evidence for syntelic kinetochore attachments in cells after treatments that increase missegregation rates. Thus, lagging chromosomes in anaphase are symptomatic of defects in kinetochore-microtubule attachment dynamics that cause chromosome missegregation associated with CIN, but the laggards rarely missegregate.
Project description:Previous studies of mitosis show that capture of single kinetochores by microtubules from both centrosomes (merotelic orientation) is a major cause of aneuploidy. We have characterized hcp-6, a temperature-sensitive chromosome segregation mutant in C. elegans that exhibits chromosomes attached to both poles via a single sister kinetochore. We demonstrate that the primary defect in this mutant is a failure to fully condense chromosomes during prophase. Although centromere formation and sister centromere resolution remain unaffected in hcp-6, the chromosomes lack the rigidity of wild-type chromosomes and twist around the long axis of the chromosome. As such, they are unable to establish a proper orientation at prometaphase, allowing individual kinetochores to be captured by microtubules from both poles. We therefore propose that chromosome rigidity plays an essential role in maintaining chromosome orientation to prevent merotelic capture.
Project description:MAPK-activated protein kinase 2 (MK2), a direct substrate of p38 MAPK, plays key roles in multiple physiological functions in mitosis. Here, we show for the first time the unique distribution pattern of MK2 in meiosis. Phospho-MK2 was localized on bipolar spindle minus ends and along the interstitial axes of homologous chromosomes extending over centromere regions and arm regions at metaphase of first meiosis (MI stage) in mouse oocytes. At metaphase of second meiosis (MII stage), p-MK2 was localized on the bipolar spindle minus ends and at the inner centromere region of sister chromatids as dots. Knockdown or inhibition of MK2 resulted in spindle defects. Spindles were surrounded by irregular nondisjunction chromosomes, which were arranged in an amphitelic or syntelic/monotelic manner, or chromosomes detached from the spindles. Kinetochore-microtubule attachments were impaired in MK2-deficient oocytes because spindle microtubules became unstable in response to cold treatment. In addition, homologous chromosome segregation and meiosis progression were inhibited in these oocytes. Our data suggest that MK2 may be essential for functional meiotic bipolar spindle formation, chromosome segregation and proper kinetochore-microtubule attachments.
Project description:Accurate segregation of chromosomes, essential for the stability of the genome, depends on 'bi-orientation'-simultaneous attachment of each individual chromosome to both poles of the mitotic spindle. On bi-oriented chromosomes, kinetochores (macromolecular complexes that attach the chromosome to the spindle) reside on the opposite sides of the chromosome's centromere. In contrast, sister kinetochores shift towards one side of the centromere on 'syntelic' chromosomes that erroneously attach to one spindle pole with both sister kinetochores. Syntelic attachments often arise during spindle assembly and must be corrected to prevent chromosome loss. It is assumed that restoration of proper centromere architecture occurs automatically owing to elastic properties of the centromere. Here we test this assumption by combining laser microsurgery and chemical biology assays in cultured mammalian cells. We find that kinetochores of syntelic chromosomes remain juxtaposed on detachment from spindle microtubules. These findings reveal that correction of syntelic attachments involves an extra step that has previously been overlooked: external forces must be applied to move sister kinetochores to the opposite sides of the centromere. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the shape of the centromere is important for spindle assembly, because bipolar spindles do not form in cells lacking centrosomes when multiple chromosomes with juxtaposed kinetochores are present. Thus, proper architecture of the centromere makes an important contribution to achieving high fidelity of chromosome segregation.
Project description:Chromosome biorientation promotes congression and generates tension that stabilizes kinetochore-microtubule (kt-MT) interactions. Forces produced by molecular motors also contribute to chromosome alignment, but their impact on kt-MT attachment stability is unclear. A critical force that acts on chromosomes is the kinesin-10-dependent polar ejection force (PEF). PEFs are proposed to facilitate congression by pushing chromosomes away from spindle poles, although knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underpinning PEF generation is incomplete. Here, we describe a live-cell PEF assay in which tension was applied to chromosomes by manipulating levels of the chromokinesin NOD (no distributive disjunction; Drosophila melanogaster kinesin-10). NOD stabilized syntelic kt-MT attachments in a dose- and motor-dependent manner by overwhelming the ability of Aurora B to mediate error correction. NOD-coated chromatin stretched away from the pole via lateral and end-on interactions with microtubules, and NOD chimeras with either plus end-directed motility or tip-tracking activity produced PEFs. Thus, kt-MT attachment stability is modulated by PEFs, which can be generated by distinct force-producing interactions between chromosomes and dynamic spindle microtubules.
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.