The Caenorhabditis elegans pericentriolar material components SPD-2 and SPD-5 are monomeric in the cytoplasm before incorporation into the PCM matrix.
ABSTRACT: Centrosomes are the main microtubule-organizing centers in animal cells. Centrosomes consist of a pair of centrioles surrounded by a matrix of pericentriolar material (PCM) that assembles from cytoplasmic components. In Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, interactions between the coiled-coil proteins SPD-5 and SPD-2 and the kinase PLK-1 are critical for PCM assembly. However, it is not known whether these interactions promote the formation of cytoplasmic complexes that are added to the PCM or whether the components interact only during incorporation into the PCM matrix. Here we address this problem by using a combination of live-cell fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and hydrodynamic techniques to investigate the native state of PCM components in the cytoplasm. We show that SPD-2 is monomeric, and neither SPD-2 nor SPD-5 exists in complex with PLK-1. SPD-5 exists mostly as a monomer but also forms complexes with the PP2A-regulatory proteins RSA-1 and RSA-2, which are required for microtubule organization at centrosomes. These results suggest that the interactions between SPD-2, SPD-5, and PLK-1 do not result in formation of cytoplasmic complexes, but instead occur in the context of PCM assembly.
Project description:Centrosomes must resist microtubule-mediated forces for mitotic chromosome segregation. During mitotic exit, however, centrosomes are deformed and fractured by those same forces, which is a key step in centrosome disassembly. How the functional material properties of centrosomes change throughout the cell cycle, and how they are molecularly tuned, remain unknown. Here, we used optically induced flow perturbations to determine the molecular basis of centrosome strength and ductility in C. elegans embryos. We found that both properties declined sharply at anaphase onset, long before natural disassembly. This mechanical transition required PP2A phosphatase and correlated with inactivation of PLK-1 (Polo kinase) and SPD-2 (Cep192). In vitro, PLK-1 and SPD-2 directly protected centrosome scaffolds from force-induced disassembly. Our results suggest that, before anaphase, PLK-1 and SPD-2 respectively confer strength and ductility to the centrosome scaffold so that it can resist microtubule-pulling forces. In anaphase, centrosomes lose PLK-1 and SPD-2 and transition to a weak, brittle state that enables force-mediated centrosome disassembly.
Project description:Centrosomes have many important functions and comprise a 'mother' and 'daughter' centriole surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM). The mother centriole recruits and organises the PCM and templates the formation of the daughter centriole. It has been reported that several important Drosophila PCM-organising proteins are recruited to centrioles from the cytosol as part of large cytoplasmic 'S-CAP' complexes that contain the centriole protein Sas-4. In a previous paper (Conduit et al., 2014b) we showed that one of these proteins, Cnn, and another key PCM-organising protein, Spd-2, are recruited around the mother centriole before spreading outwards to form a scaffold that supports mitotic PCM assembly; the recruitment of Cnn and Spd-2 is dependent on another S-CAP protein, Asl. We show here, however, that Cnn, Spd-2 and Asl are not recruited to the mother centriole as part of a complex with Sas-4. Thus, PCM recruitment in fly embryos does not appear to require cytosolic S-CAP complexes.
Project description:Centrosomes are microtubule-nucleating organelles that facilitate chromosome segregation and cell division in metazoans. Centrosomes comprise centrioles that organize a micron-scale mass of protein called pericentriolar material (PCM) from which microtubules nucleate. During each cell cycle, PCM accumulates around centrioles through phosphorylation-mediated assembly of PCM scaffold proteins. During mitotic exit, PCM swiftly disassembles by an unknown mechanism. Here, we used Caenorhabditis elegans embryos to determine the mechanism and importance of PCM disassembly in dividing cells. We found that the phosphatase PP2A and its regulatory subunit SUR-6 (PP2ASUR-6), together with cortically directed microtubule pulling forces, actively disassemble PCM. In embryos depleted of these activities, ?25% of PCM persisted from one cell cycle into the next. Purified PP2ASUR-6 could dephosphorylate the major PCM scaffold protein SPD-5 in vitro Our data suggest that PCM disassembly occurs through a combination of dephosphorylation of PCM components and force-driven fragmentation of the PCM scaffold.
Project description:The centrosome organizes microtubule arrays within animal cells and comprises two centrioles surrounded by an amorphous protein mass called the pericentriolar material (PCM). Despite the importance of centrosomes as microtubule-organizing centers, the mechanism and regulation of PCM assembly are not well understood. In Caenorhabditis elegans, PCM assembly requires the coiled-coil protein SPD-5. We found that recombinant SPD-5 could polymerize to form micrometer-sized porous networks in vitro. Network assembly was accelerated by two conserved regulators that control PCM assembly in vivo, Polo-like kinase-1 and SPD-2/Cep192. Only the assembled SPD-5 networks, and not unassembled SPD-5 protein, functioned as a scaffold for other PCM proteins. Thus, PCM size and binding capacity emerge from the regulated polymerization of one coiled-coil protein to form a porous network.
Project description:As microtubule-organizing centers of animal cells, centrosomes guide the formation of the bipolar spindle that segregates chromosomes during mitosis. At mitosis onset, centrosomes maximize microtubule-organizing activity by rapidly expanding the pericentriolar material (PCM). This process is in part driven by the large PCM protein pericentrin (PCNT), as its level increases at the PCM and helps recruit additional PCM components. However, the mechanism underlying the timely centrosomal enrichment of PCNT remains unclear. Here, we show that PCNT is delivered co-translationally to centrosomes during early mitosis by cytoplasmic dynein, as evidenced by centrosomal enrichment of PCNT mRNA, its translation near centrosomes, and requirement of intact polysomes for PCNT mRNA localization. Additionally, the microtubule minus-end regulator, ASPM, is also targeted co-translationally to mitotic spindle poles. Together, these findings suggest that co-translational targeting of cytoplasmic proteins to specific subcellular destinations may be a generalized protein targeting mechanism.
Project description:In C. elegans, genome-wide screens have identified just five essential centriole-duplication factors: SPD-2, ZYG-1, SAS-5, SAS-6, and SAS-4 [1-8]. These proteins are widely believed to comprise a conserved core duplication module [3, 9-14]. In worm embryos, SPD-2 is the most upstream component of this module, and it is also essential for pericentriolar material (PCM) recruitment to the centrioles [1, 4, 15, 16]. Here, we show that Drosophila Spd-2 (DSpd-2) is a component of both the centrioles and the PCM and has a role in recruiting PCM to the centrioles. DSpd-2 appears not, however, to be essential for centriole duplication in somatic cells. Moreover, PCM recruitment in DSpd-2 mutant somatic cells is only partially compromised, and mitosis appears unperturbed. In contrast, DSpd-2 is essential for proper PCM recruitment to the fertilizing sperm centriole, and hence for microtubule nucleation and pronuclear fusion. DSpd-2 therefore appears to have a particularly important role in recruiting PCM to the sperm centriole. We speculate that the SPD-2 family of proteins might only be absolutely essential for the recruitment of centriole duplication factors and PCM to the centriole(s) that enter the egg with the fertilizing sperm.
Project description:Centrosomes are formed when mother centrioles recruit pericentriolar material (PCM) around themselves. The PCM expands dramatically as cells prepare to enter mitosis (a process termed centrosome maturation), but it is unclear how this expansion is achieved. In flies, Spd-2 and Cnn are thought to form a scaffold around the mother centriole that recruits other components of the mitotic PCM, and the Polo-dependent phosphorylation of Cnn at the centrosome is crucial for scaffold assembly. Here, we show that, like Cnn, Spd-2 is specifically phosphorylated at centrosomes. This phosphorylation appears to create multiple phosphorylated S-S/T(p) motifs that allow Spd-2 to recruit Polo to the expanding scaffold. If the ability of Spd-2 to recruit Polo is impaired, the scaffold is initially assembled around the mother centriole, but it cannot expand outwards, and centrosome maturation fails. Our findings suggest that interactions between Spd-2, Polo and Cnn form a positive feedback loop that drives the dramatic expansion of the mitotic PCM in fly embryos.
Project description:Centrosomes are conserved organelles that are essential for accurate cell division and cilium formation. A centrosome consists of a pair of centrioles surrounded by a protein network of pericentriolar material (PCM) that is essential for the centrosome's function. In this study, we show that Sas-4 provides a scaffold for cytoplasmic complexes (named S-CAP), which include CNN, Asl and D-PLP, proteins that are all found in the centrosomes at the vicinity of the centriole. When Sas-4 is absent, nascent procentrioles are unstable and lack PCM, and functional centrosomes are not generated. When Sas-4 is mutated, so that it cannot form S-CAP complexes, centrosomes are present but with dramatically reduced levels of PCM. Finally, purified S-CAP complexes or recombinant Sas-4 can bind centrosomes stripped of PCM, whereas recombinant CNN or Asl cannot. In summary, PCM assembly begins in the cytosol where Sas-4 provides a scaffold for pre-assembled cytoplasmic complexes before tethering of the complexes in a centrosome.
Project description:Regulated centrosome biogenesis is required for accurate cell division and for maintaining genome integrity. Centrosomes consist of a centriole pair surrounded by a protein network known as pericentriolar material (PCM). PCM assembly is a tightly regulated, critical step that determines the size and capability of centrosomes. Here, we report a role for tubulin in regulating PCM recruitment through the conserved centrosomal protein Sas-4. Tubulin directly binds to Sas-4; together they are components of cytoplasmic complexes of centrosomal proteins. A Sas-4 mutant, which cannot bind tubulin, enhances centrosomal protein complex formation and has abnormally large centrosomes with excessive activity. These results suggest that tubulin negatively regulates PCM recruitment. Whereas tubulin-GTP prevents Sas-4 from forming protein complexes, tubulin-GDP promotes it. Thus, the regulation of PCM recruitment by tubulin depends on its GTP/GDP-bound state. These results identify a role for tubulin in regulating PCM recruitment independent of its well-known role as a building block of microtubules. On the basis of its guanine-bound state, tubulin can act as a molecular switch in PCM recruitment.
Project description:Microtubule behavior changes during the cell cycle and during spindle assembly. However, it remains unclear how these changes are regulated and coordinated. We describe a complex that targets the Protein Phosphatase 2A holoenzyme (PP2A) to centrosomes in C. elegans embryos. This complex includes Regulator of Spindle Assembly 1 (RSA-1), a targeting subunit for PP2A, and RSA-2, a protein that binds and recruits RSA-1 to centrosomes. In contrast to the multiple functions of the PP2A catalytic subunit, RSA-1 and RSA-2 are specifically required for microtubule outgrowth from centrosomes and for spindle assembly. The centrosomally localized RSA-PP2A complex mediates these functions in part by regulating two critical mitotic effectors: the microtubule destabilizer KLP-7 and the C. elegans regulator of spindle assembly TPXL-1. By regulating a subset of PP2A functions at the centrosome, the RSA complex could therefore provide a means of coordinating microtubule outgrowth from centrosomes and kinetochore microtubule stability during mitotic spindle assembly.