PRMT1 promotes mitosis of cancer cells through arginine methylation of INCENP.
ABSTRACT: Inner centromere protein (INCENP) is a part of a protein complex known as the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) that is essential for correcting non-bipolar chromosome attachments and for cytokinesis. We here demonstrate that a protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT1, which are overexpressed in various types of cancer including lung and bladder cancer, methylates arginine 887 in an Aurora Kinase B (AURKB)-binding region of INCENP both in vitro and in vivo. R887-substituted INCENP revealed lower binding-affinity to AURKB than wild-type INCENP in the presence of PRMT1. Knockdown of PRMT1 as well as overexpression of methylation-inactive INCENP attenuated the AURKB activity in cancer cells, and resulted in abnormal chromosomal alignment and segregation. Furthermore, introduction of methylation-inactive INCENP into cancer cells reduced the growth rate, compared with those introduced wild-type INCENP or Mock. Our data unveils a novel mechanism of PRMT1-mediated CPC regulation through methylation of INCENP.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of cell division. Therefore, inherited CPC variability could influence tumor development. The present candidate gene approach investigates the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding key CPC components and breast cancer risk. Fifteen SNPs in four CPC genes (INCENP, AURKB, BIRC5 and CDCA8) were genotyped in 88 911 European women from 39 case-control studies of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Possible associations were investigated in fixed-effects meta-analyses. The synonymous SNP rs1675126 in exon 7 of INCENP was associated with overall breast cancer risk [per A allele odds ratio (OR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.92-0.98, P = 0.007] and particularly with estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast tumors (per A allele OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.83-0.95, P = 0.0005). SNPs not directly genotyped were imputed based on 1000 Genomes. The SNPs rs1047739 in the 3' untranslated region and rs144045115 downstream of INCENP showed the strongest association signals for overall (per T allele OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.00-1.06, P = 0.0009) and ER-negative breast cancer risk (per A allele OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.10, P = 0.0002). Two genotyped SNPs in BIRC5 were associated with familial breast cancer risk (top SNP rs2071214: per G allele OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.04-1.21, P = 0.002). The data suggest that INCENP in the CPC pathway contributes to ER-negative breast cancer susceptibility in the European population. In spite of a modest contribution of CPC-inherited variants to the total burden of sporadic and familial breast cancer, their potential as novel targets for breast cancer treatment should be further investigated.
Project description:Chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) has been demonstrated to be a potential target of cancer therapy by inhibiting Aurora B or survivin in different types of cancer including neuroblastoma. However, chemical inhibition of either Aurora B or survivin does not target CPC specifically due to off-target effects or CPC-independent activities of these two components. In a previous chromatin-focused siRNA screen, we found that neuroblastoma cells were particularly vulnerable to loss of INCENP, a gene encoding a key scaffolding component of the CPC. In this study, INCENP was highly expressed by neuroblastoma cells, and its expression decreased following retinoic acid-induced neuroblastoma differentiation. Elevated levels of INCENP were significantly associated with poor prognosis in primary tumors of neuroblastoma patients with high-risk disease. Genetic silencing of INCENP reduced the growth of both MYCN-wild-type and MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro and decreased the growth of neuroblastoma xenografts in vivo, with significant increases in murine survival. Mechanistically, INCENP depletion suppressed neuroblastoma cell growth by inducing polyploidization, apoptosis, and senescence. In most neuroblastoma cell lines tested in vitro, apoptosis was the primary cell fate after INCENP silencing due to induction of DNA damage response and activation of the p53-p21 axis. These results confirm that CPC is a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma, and targeting INCENP is a novel way to disrupt the activity of CPC and inhibit tumor progression in neuroblastoma. SIGNIFICANCE: Dysregulation of INCENP contributes to neuroblastoma tumorigenesis and targeting INCENP presents a novel strategy to disrupt the activity of chromosomal passenger complex and inhibit neuroblastoma progression.
Project description:Incenp is an essential mitotic protein that, together with Aurora B, Survivin, and Borealin, forms the core of the chromosomal passenger protein complex (CPC). The CPC regulates various mitotic processes and functions to maintain genomic stability. The proper subcellular localization of the CPC and its full catalytic activity require the presence of each core subunit in the complex. We have investigated the mitotic tasks of the CPC using a function blocking antibody against Incenp microinjected into cells at different mitotic phases. This method allowed temporal analysis of CPC functions without perturbation of complex assembly or activity prior to injection. We have also studied the dynamic properties of Incenp and Aurora B using fusion protein photobleaching. We found that in early mitotic cells, Incenp and Aurora B exhibit dynamic turnover at centromeres, which is prevented by the anti-Incenp antibody. In these cells, the loss of centromeric CPC turnover is accompanied by forced mitotic exit without the execution of cytokinesis. Introduction of anti-Incenp antibody into early anaphase cells causes abnormalities in sister chromatid separation through defects in anaphase spindle functions. In summary, our data uncovers new mitotic roles for the CPC in anaphase and proposes that CPC turnover at centromeres modulates spindle assembly checkpoint signaling.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), composed of inner centromere protein (INCENP), Survivin, Borealin, and the kinase Aurora B, contributes to the activation of the mitotic checkpoint. The regulation of CPC function remains unclear. Here, we reveal that in addition to Survivin and Borealin, the single ?-helix (SAH) domain of INCENP supports CPC localization to chromatin and the mitotic checkpoint. The INCENP SAH domain also mediates INCENP's microtubule binding, which is negatively regulated by Cyclin-dependent kinase-mediated phosphorylation of segments flanking the SAH domain. The microtubule-binding capacity of the SAH domain is important for mitotic arrest in conditions of suppressed microtubule dynamics, and the duration of mitotic arrest dictates the probability, but not the timing, of cell death. Although independent targeting of INCENP to microtubules or the kinetochore/centromere promotes the mitotic checkpoint, it is insufficient for a robust mitotic arrest. Altogether, our results demonstrate that dual recognition of chromatin and microtubules by CPC is important for checkpoint maintenance and determination of cell fate in mitosis.
Project description:A single inner centromere protein (INCENP) found throughout eukaryotes modulates Aurora B kinase activity and chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) localization, which is essential for timely mitotic progression. It has been proposed that INCENP might act as a rheostat to regulate Aurora B activity through mitosis, with successively higher activity threshold levels for chromosome alignment, the spindle checkpoint, anaphase spindle transfer and finally spindle elongation and cytokinesis. It remains mechanistically unclear how this would be achieved. Here, we reveal that the urochordate, Oikopleura dioica, possesses two INCENP paralogs, which display distinct localizations and subfunctionalization in order to complete M-phase. INCENPa was localized on chromosome arms and centromeres by prometaphase, and modulated Aurora B activity to mediate H3S10/S28 phosphorylation, chromosome condensation, spindle assembly and transfer of the CPC to the central spindle. Polo-like kinase (Plk1) recruitment to CDK1 phosphorylated INCENPa was crucial for INCENPa-Aurora B enrichment on centromeres. The second paralog, INCENPb was enriched on centromeres from prometaphase, and relocated to the central spindle at anaphase onset. In the absence of INCENPa, meiotic spindles failed to form, and homologous chromosomes did not segregate. INCENPb was not required for early to mid M-phase events but became essential for the activity and localization of Aurora B on the central spindle and midbody during cytokinesis in order to allow abscission to occur. Together, our results demonstrate that INCENP paralog switching on centromeres modulates Aurora B kinase localization, thus chronologically regulating CPC functions during fast embryonic divisions in the urochordate O. dioica. Abbreviations: CCAN: constitutive centromere-associated network; CENPs: centromere proteins; cmRNA: capped messenger RNA; CPC: chromosomal passenger complex; INCENP: inner centromere protein; Plk1: polo-like kinase 1; PP1: protein phosphatase 1; PP2A: protein phosphatase 2A; SAC: spindle assembly checkpoint; SAH: single α-helix domain.
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 chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) is a conserved, essential regulator of cell division. As such, significant anti-cancer drug development efforts have been focused on targeting it, most notably by inhibiting its AURKB kinase subunit. The CPC is activated by AURKB-catalyzed autophosphorylation on multiple subunits, but how this regulates CPC interactions with other mitotic proteins remains unclear. We investigated the hydrodynamic behavior of the CPC in Xenopus laevis egg cytosol using sucrose gradient sedimentation and in HeLa cells using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. We found that autophosphorylation of the CPC decreases its sedimentation coefficient in egg cytosol and increases its diffusion coefficient in live cells, indicating a decrease in mass. Using immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry and immunoblots, we discovered that inactive, unphosphorylated CPC interacts with nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin proteins, which are known to oligomerize into pentamers and decamers. Autophosphorylation of the CPC causes it to dissociate from nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin. We propose that nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin complexes serve as chaperones that negatively regulate the CPC and/or stabilize its inactive form, preventing CPC autophosphorylation and recruitment to chromatin and microtubules in mitosis.
Project description:Timely and precise control of Aurora B kinase, the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) catalytic subunit, is essential for accurate chromosome segregation and cytokinesis. Post-translational modifications of CPC subunits are directly involved in controlling Aurora B activity. Here, we identified a highly conserved acidic STD-rich motif of INCENP that is phosphorylated during mitosis in vivo and by Plk1 in vitro and is involved in controlling Aurora B activity. By using an INCENP conditional-knockout cell line, we show that impairing the phosphorylation status of this region disrupts chromosome congression and induces cytokinesis failure. In contrast, mimicking constitutive phosphorylation not only rescues cytokinesis but also induces ectopic furrows and contractile ring formation in a Plk1- and ROCK1-dependent manner independent of cell cycle and microtubule status. Our experiments identify the phospho-regulation of the INCENP STD motif as a novel mechanism that is key for chromosome alignment and cytokinesis.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Project description:Aurora kinases B and C (AURKB/AURKC) are activated by binding to the C-terminal domain of INCENP. Full activation requires phosphorylation of two serine residues of INCENP that are conserved through evolution, although the mechanism of this activation has not been explained. Here we present crystal structures of the fully active complex of AURKC bound to INCENP, consisting of phosphorylated, activated, AURKC and INCENP phosphorylated on its TSS motif, revealing the structural and biochemical mechanism of synergistic activation of AURKC:INCENP. The structures show that TSS motif phosphorylation stabilises the kinase activation loop of AURKC. The TSS motif phosphorylations alter the substrate-binding surface consistent with a mechanism of altered kinase substrate selectivity and stabilisation of the protein complex against unfolding. We also analyse the binding of the most specific available AURKB inhibitor, BRD-7880, and demonstrate that the well-known Aurora kinase inhibitor VX-680 disrupts binding of the phosphorylated INCENP TSS motif.
Project description:Aurora-C, a member of the Aurora kinase family that can complement Aurora-B function in mitosis is either moderately expressed or repressed in most adult somatic tissues but is active in early embryonic development and expressed at elevated levels in multiple human cancers. Aurora-C overexpression reportedly plays a role in tumorigenic transformation. We performed detailed characterization of Aurora-C interactions with members of the Chromosome Passenger Complex (CPC), Survivin and Inner Centromere Protein (INCENP) in reference to known Aurora-B interactions to understand the functional significance of Aurora-C overexpression in human cancer cells. The results revealed that silencing of Aurora-C or -B individually does not affect localization of the other kinase and the two kinases exist predominantly in independent complexes in vivo. Presence of Aurora-C and -B in molecular complexes of varying as well as overlapping sizes and co-existence in INCENP overexpressing cells indicated oligomerization of ternary complexes under different physiological conditions in vivo. Furthermore, Aurora-C and -B stabilized INCENP through interaction with and phosphorylation of the IN box domain while Aurora-C was activated following Survivin phosphorylation on Serine 20. Phosphorylation of Survivin residue Serine 20 by Aurora-C and -B appears important for proper chromosome segregation. Taken together, our study suggests that Aurora-C, expressed at low levels in somatic cells, functions as a catalytic component of the CPC together with Aurora-B through mitosis. Elevated expression of Aurora-C in cancer cells alters the structural and functional characteristics of the Aurora-B-CPC leading to chromosomal instability.