Structural and numerical chromosome changes in colon cancer develop through telomere-mediated anaphase bridges, not through mitotic multipolarity.
ABSTRACT: Telomere dysfunction has been associated with chromosomal instability in colorectal carcinoma, but the consequences of telomere-dependent instability for chromosome integrity and clonal evolution have been little explored. We show here that abnormally short telomeres lead to a wide spectrum of mitotic disturbances in colorectal cancer cell lines, including anaphase bridging, whole-chromosome lagging, and mitotic multipolarity. These abnormalities were found in both the presence and absence of microsatellite instability. The mean telomere length varied extensively between cells from the same tumor, allowing the establishment of tumor cell subpopulations with highly different frequencies of mitotic disturbances. Anaphase bridging typically resulted in either inter-centromeric chromatin fragmentation or centromere detachment, leading to pericentromeric chromosome rearrangements and loss of whole chromosomes, respectively. There was a strong correlation between anaphase bridges and multipolar mitoses, and the induction of dicentric chromosomes by gamma irradiation and telomerase inhibition led to an elevated frequency of multipolar mitotic spindles, suggesting that multipolarity could result from polyploidization triggered by anaphase bridging. Chromatid segregation in multipolar mitoses was close to random, resulting in frequent nullisomies and nonviable daughter cells. In contrast, there was a high clonogenic survival among cells having gone through anaphase bridging in bipolar mitoses. Bridging of telomere-deficient chromosomes could thus be a major mutational mechanism in colorectal cancer, whereas mitotic multipolarity appears to be a secondary phenomenon that rarely, if ever, contributes to clonal evolution.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Normal cell division is coordinated by a bipolar mitotic spindle, ensuring symmetrical segregation of chromosomes. Cancer cells, however, occasionally divide into three or more directions. Such multipolar mitoses have been proposed to generate genetic diversity and thereby contribute to clonal evolution. However, this notion has been little validated experimentally. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Chromosome segregation and DNA content in daughter cells from multipolar mitoses were assessed by multiphoton cross sectioning and fluorescence in situ hybridization in cancer cells and non-neoplastic transformed cells. The DNA distribution resulting from multipolar cell division was found to be highly variable, with frequent nullisomies in the daughter cells. Time-lapse imaging of H2B/GFP-labelled multipolar mitoses revealed that the time from the initiation of metaphase to the beginning of anaphase was prolonged and that the metaphase plates often switched polarity several times before metaphase-anaphase transition. The multipolar metaphase-anaphase transition was accompanied by a normal reduction of cellular cyclin B levels, but typically occurred before completion of the normal separase activity cycle. Centromeric AURKB and MAD2 foci were observed frequently to remain on the centromeres of multipolar ana-telophase chromosomes, indicating that multipolar mitoses were able to circumvent the spindle assembly checkpoint with some sister chromatids remaining unseparated after anaphase. Accordingly, scoring the distribution of individual chromosomes in multipolar daughter nuclei revealed a high frequency of nondisjunction events, resulting in a near-binomial allotment of sister chromatids to the daughter cells. CONCLUSION: The capability of multipolar mitoses to circumvent the spindle assembly checkpoint system typically results in a near-random distribution of chromosomes to daughter cells. Spindle multipolarity could thus be a highly efficient generator of genetically diverse minority clones in transformed cell populations.
Project description:Many cancer cells display a CIN (Chromosome Instability) phenotype, by which they exhibit high rates of chromosome loss or gain at each cell cycle. Over the years, a number of different mechanisms, including mitotic spindle multipolarity, cytokinesis failure, and merotelic kinetochore orientation, have been proposed as causes of CIN. However, a comprehensive theory of how CIN is perpetuated is still lacking. We used CIN colorectal cancer cells as a model system to investigate the possible cellular mechanism(s) underlying CIN. We found that CIN cells frequently assembled multipolar spindles in early mitosis. However, multipolar anaphase cells were very rare, and live-cell experiments showed that almost all CIN cells divided in a bipolar fashion. Moreover, fixed-cell analysis showed high frequencies of merotelically attached lagging chromosomes in bipolar anaphase CIN cells, and higher frequencies of merotelic attachments in multipolar vs. bipolar prometaphases. Finally, we found that multipolar CIN prometaphases typically possessed gamma-tubulin at all spindle poles, and that a significant fraction of bipolar metaphase/early anaphase CIN cells possessed more than one centrosome at a single spindle pole. Taken together, our data suggest a model by which merotelic kinetochore attachments can easily be established in multipolar prometaphases. Most of these multipolar prometaphase cells would then bi-polarize before anaphase onset, and the residual merotelic attachments would produce chromosome mis-segregation due to anaphase lagging chromosomes. We propose this spindle pole coalescence mechanism as a major contributor to chromosome instability in cancer cells.
Project description:Ploidy variations such as genome doubling are frequent in human tumors and have been associated with genetic instability favoring tumor progression. How polyploid cells deal with increased centrosome numbers and DNA content remains unknown. Using Drosophila neuroblasts and human cancer cells to study mitotic spindle assembly in polyploid cells, we found that most polyploid cells divide in a multipolar manner. We show that even if an initial centrosome clustering step can occur at mitotic entry, the establishment of kinetochore-microtubule attachments leads to spatial chromosome configurations, whereby the final coalescence of supernumerary poles into a bipolar array is inhibited. Using in silico approaches and various spindle and DNA perturbations, we show that chromosomes act as a physical barrier blocking spindle pole coalescence and bipolarity. Importantly, microtubule stabilization suppressed multipolarity by improving both centrosome clustering and pole coalescence. This work identifies inhibitors of bipolar division in polyploid cells and provides a rationale to understand chromosome instability typical of polyploid cancer cells.
Project description:The spindle checkpoint ensures proper chromosome segregation by delaying anaphase until all chromosomes are correctly attached to the mitotic spindle. We investigated the role of the fission yeast bub1 gene in spindle checkpoint function and in unperturbed mitoses. We find that bub1(+) is essential for the fission yeast spindle checkpoint response to spindle damage and to defects in centromere function. Activation of the checkpoint results in the recruitment of Bub1 to centromeres and a delay in the completion of mitosis. We show that Bub1 also has a crucial role in normal, unperturbed mitoses. Loss of bub1 function causes chromosomes to lag on the anaphase spindle and an increased frequency of chromosome loss. Such genomic instability is even more dramatic in Deltabub1 diploids, leading to massive chromosome missegregation events and loss of the diploid state, demonstrating that bub1(+ )function is essential to maintain correct ploidy through mitosis. As in larger eukaryotes, Bub1 is recruited to kinetochores during the early stages of mitosis. However, unlike its vertebrate counterpart, a pool of Bub1 remains centromere-associated at metaphase and even until telophase. We discuss the possibility of a role for the Bub1 kinase after the metaphase-anaphase transition.
Project description:Homologous recombination deficient (HR(-)) mammalian cells spontaneously display reduced replication fork (RF) movement and mitotic extra centrosomes. We show here that these cells present a complex mitotic phenotype, including prolonged metaphase arrest, anaphase bridges, and multipolar segregations. We then asked whether the replication and the mitotic phenotypes are interdependent. First, we determined low doses of hydroxyurea that did not affect the cell cycle distribution or activate CHK1 phosphorylation but did slow the replication fork movement of wild-type cells to the same level than in HR(-) cells. Remarkably, these low hydroxyurea doses generated the same mitotic defects (and to the same extent) in wild-type cells as observed in unchallenged HR(-) cells. Reciprocally, supplying nucleotide precursors to HR(-) cells suppressed both their replication deceleration and mitotic extra centrosome phenotypes. Therefore, subtle replication stress that escapes to surveillance pathways and, thus, fails to prevent cells from entering mitosis alters metaphase progression and centrosome number, resulting in multipolar mitosis. Importantly, multipolar mitosis results in global unbalanced chromosome segregation involving the whole genome, even fully replicated chromosomes. These data highlight the cross-talk between chromosome replication and segregation, and the importance of HR at the interface of these two processes for protection against general genome instability.
Project description:Oral squamous cell carcinomas are characterized by complex, often near-triploid karyotypes with structural and numerical variations superimposed on the initial clonal chromosomal alterations. We used immunohistochemistry combined with classical cytogenetic analysis and spectral karyotyping to investigate the chromosomal segregation defects in cultured oral squamous cell carcinoma cells. During division, these cells frequently exhibit lagging chromosomes at both metaphase and anaphase, suggesting defects in the mitotic apparatus or kinetochore. Dicentric anaphase chromatin bridges and structurally altered chromosomes with consistent long arms and variable short arms, as well as the presence of gene amplification, suggested the occurrence of breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. Some anaphase bridges were observed to persist into telophase, resulting in chromosomal exclusion from the reforming nucleus and micronucleus formation. Multipolar spindles were found to various degrees in the oral squamous cell carcinoma lines. In the multipolar spindles, the poles demonstrated different levels of chromosomal capture and alignment, indicating functional differences between the poles. Some spindle poles showed premature splitting of centrosomal material, a precursor to full separation of the microtubule organizing centers. These results indicate that some of the chromosomal instability observed within these cancer cells might be the result of cytoskeletal defects and breakage-fusion-bridge cycles.
Project description:Chromosomal instability (CIN) is a hallmark of many tumours and correlates with the presence of extra centrosomes. However, a direct mechanistic link between extra centrosomes and CIN has not been established. It has been proposed that extra centrosomes generate CIN by promoting multipolar anaphase, a highly abnormal division that produces three or more aneuploid daughter cells. Here we use long-term live-cell imaging to demonstrate that cells with multiple centrosomes rarely undergo multipolar cell divisions, and the progeny of these divisions are typically inviable. Thus, multipolar divisions cannot explain observed rates of CIN. In contrast, we observe that CIN cells with extra centrosomes routinely undergo bipolar cell divisions, but display a significantly increased frequency of lagging chromosomes during anaphase. To define the mechanism underlying this mitotic defect, we generated cells that differ only in their centrosome number. We demonstrate that extra centrosomes alone are sufficient to promote chromosome missegregation during bipolar cell division. These segregation errors are a consequence of cells passing through a transient 'multipolar spindle intermediate' in which merotelic kinetochore-microtubule attachment errors accumulate before centrosome clustering and anaphase. These findings provide a direct mechanistic link between extra centrosomes and CIN, two common characteristics of solid tumours. We propose that this mechanism may be a common underlying cause of CIN in human cancer.
Project description:Analysis of centrosome number and structure has become one means of assessing the potential for aberrant chromosome segregation and aneuploidy in tumor cells. Centrosome amplification directly causes multipolar catastrophic mitoses in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient for the tumor suppressor genes Brca1 or Trp53. We observed supernumerary centrosomes in cell lines established from aneuploid, but not from diploid, colorectal carcinomas; however, multipolar mitoses were never observed. This discrepancy prompted us to thoroughly characterize the centrosome abnormalities in these and other cancer cell lines with respect to both structure and function. The most striking result was that supernumerary centrosomes in aneuploid colorectal cancer cell lines were unable to nucleate microtubules, despite the presence of gamma-tubulin, pericentrin, PLK1, and AURKA. Analysis by scanning electron microscopy revealed that these supernumerary structures are devoid of centrioles, a result significantly different from observations in aneuploid pancreatic cancer cell lines and in Trp53 or Brca1 deficient MEFs. Thus, multipolar mitoses are dependent upon the ability of extra gamma-tubulin containing structures to nucleate microtubules, and this correlated with the presence of centrioles. The assessment of centrosome function with respect to chromosome segregation must therefore take into consideration the presence of centrioles and the capacity to nucleate microtubules. The patterns and mechanisms of chromosomal aberrations in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors are fundamentally different. The former is characterized by specific chromosome translocations, whose consequence is the activation of oncogenes. Most carcinomas, however, reveal variations in the nuclear DNA content. The observed genomic imbalances and gross variations in chromosome number can result from unequal chromosome segregation during mitotic cell division. It is therefore fundamental to elucidate mechanisms involved in distribution of the genome to daughter cells. Prior to cell division, the centrosome organizes microtubules and the mitotic spindle. Deciphering the consequences of alterations in centrosome number, structure, and function is an important step towards understanding how a diploid genome is maintained. Although extra centrosomes have now been observed in carcinomas and were correlated with aneuploidy, a careful functional investigation of these structures and their role in generating chromosome imbalances may lead to the identification of distinct mechanistic pathways of genomic instability. Understanding these pathways will also be important in determining whether they are potential molecular targets of therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Integrity of the microtubule spindle apparatus and intact cell division checkpoints are essential to ensure the fidelity of distributing chromosomes into daughter cells. Cytoskeleton-associated protein 2, CKAP2, is a microtubule-associated protein that localizes to spindle poles and aids in microtubule stabilization, but the exact function and mechanism of action are poorly understood. In the present study, we utilized RNA interference to determine the extent to which the expression of CKAP2 plays a role in chromosome segregation. CKAP2-depleted cells showed a significant increase of multipolar mitoses and other spindle pole defects. Notably, when interrogated for microtubule nucleation capacity, CKAP2-depleted cells showed a very unusual phenotype as early as two minutes after release from mitotic block, consisting of dispersal of newly polymerized microtubule filaments through the entire chromatin region, creating a cage-like structure. Nevertheless, spindle poles were formed after one hour of mitotic release suggesting that centrosome-mediated nucleation remained dominant. Finally, we showed that suppression of CKAP2 resulted in a higher incidence of merotelic attachments, anaphase lagging, and polyploidy. Based on these results, we conclude that CKAP2 is involved in the maintenance of microtubule nucleation sites, focusing microtubule minus ends to the spindle poles in early mitosis, and is implicated in maintaining genome stability.
Project description:Centrosome amplification (CA) and resultant chromosomal instability have long been associated with tumorigenesis. However, exacerbation of CA and relentless centrosome declustering engender robust spindle multipolarity (SM) during mitosis and may induce cell death. Recently, we demonstrated that a noscapinoid member, reduced bromonoscapine, (S)-3-(R)-9-bromo-5-(4,5-dimethoxy-1,3-dihydroisobenzofuran-1-yl)-4-methoxy-6-methyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-[1,3]dioxolo-[4,5-g]isoquinoline (Red-Br-nos), induces reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated autophagy and caspase-independent death in prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Herein, we show that Red-Br-nos induces ROS-dependent DNA damage that resulted in high-grade CA and SM in PC-3 cells. Unlike doxorubicin, which causes double-stranded DNA breaks and chronic G2 arrest accompanied by 'templated' CA, Red-Br-nos-mediated DNA damage elicits de novo CA during a transient S/G2 stall, followed by checkpoint abrogation and mitotic entry to form aberrant mitotic figures with supernumerary spindle poles. Attenuation of multipolar phenotype in the presence of tiron, a ROS inhibitor, indicated that ROS-mediated DNA damage was partly responsible for driving CA and SM. Although a few cells (?5%) yielded to aberrant cytokinesis following an 'anaphase catastrophe', most mitotically arrested cells (?70%) succumbed to 'metaphase catastrophe,' which was caspase-independent. This report is the first documentation of rapid de novo centrosome formation in the presence of parent centrosome by a noscapinoid family member, which triggers death-inducing SM via a unique mechanism that distinguishes it from other ROS-inducers, conventional DNA-damaging agents, as well as other microtubule-binding drugs.