Project description:We investigated the assembly of cortical nodes that generate the cytokinetic contractile ring in fission yeast. Observations of cells expressing fluorescent fusion proteins revealed two types of interphase nodes. Type 1 nodes containing kinase Cdr1p, kinase Cdr2p, and anillin Mid1p form in the cortex around the nucleus early in G2. Type 2 nodes with protein Blt1p, guanosine triphosphate exchange factor Gef2p, and kinesin Klp8p emerge from contractile ring remnants. Quantitative measurements and computer simulations showed that these two types of nodes come together by a diffuse-and-capture mechanism: type 2 nodes diffuse to the equator and are captured by stationary type 1 nodes. During mitosis, cytokinetic nodes with Mid1p and all of the type 2 node markers incorporate into the contractile ring, whereas type 1 nodes with Cdr1p and Cdr2p follow the separating nuclei before dispersing into the cytoplasm, dependent on septation initiation network signaling. The two types of interphase nodes follow parallel branches of the pathway to prepare nodes for cytokinesis.
Project description:We observed live fission yeast expressing pairs of functional fluorescent fusion proteins to test the popular model that the cytokinetic contractile ring assembles from a single myosin II progenitor or a Cdc12p-Cdc15p spot. Under our conditions, the anillin-like protein Mid1p establishes a broad band of small dots or nodes in the cortex near the nucleus. These nodes mature by the addition of conventional myosin II (Myo2p, Cdc4p, and Rlc1p), IQGAP (Rng2p), pombe Cdc15 homology protein (Cdc15p), and formin (Cdc12p). The nodes coalesce laterally into a compact ring when Cdc12p and profilin Cdc3p stimulate actin polymerization. We did not observe assembly of contractile rings by extension of a leading cable from a single spot or progenitor. Arp2/3 complex and its activators accumulate in patches near the contractile ring early in anaphase B, but are not concentrated in the contractile ring and are not required for assembly of the contractile ring. Their absence delays late steps in cytokinesis, including septum formation and cell separation.
Project description:Cytokinesis involves constriction of a contractile actomyosin ring. The mechanisms generating ring tension and setting the constriction rate remain unknown because the organization of the ring is poorly characterized, its tension was rarely measured, and constriction is coupled to other processes. To isolate ring mechanisms, we studied fission yeast protoplasts, in which constriction occurs without the cell wall. Exploiting the absence of cell wall and actin cortex, we measured ring tension and imaged ring organization, which was dynamic and disordered. Computer simulations based on the amounts and biochemical properties of the key proteins showed that they spontaneously self-organize into a tension-generating bundle. Together with rapid component turnover, the self-organization mechanism continuously reassembles and remodels the constricting ring. Ring constriction depended on cell shape, revealing that the ring operates close to conditions of isometric tension. Thus, the fission yeast ring sets its own tension, but other processes set the constriction rate.
Project description:The microtubule cytoskeleton plays important roles in cell polarity, motility and division. Microtubules inherently undergo dynamic instability, stochastically switching between phases of growth and shrinkage. In cells, some microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and molecular motors can further modulate microtubule dynamics. We present here the fission yeast mtr1(+), a new regulator of microtubule dynamics that appears to be not a MAP or a motor. mtr1-deletion (mtr1?) primarily results in longer microtubule dwell-time at the cell tip cortex, suggesting that mtr1p acts directly or indirectly as a destabilizer of microtubules. mtr1p is antagonistic to mal3p, the ortholog of mammalian EB1, which stabilizes microtubules. mal3? results in short microtubules, but can be partially rescued by mtr1?, as the double mutant mal3? mtr1? exhibits longer microtubules than mal3? single mutant. By sequence homology, mtr1p is predicted to be a component of the ribosomal quality control complex. Intriguingly, deletion of a predicted ribosomal gene, rps1801, also resulted in longer microtubule dwell-time similar to mtr1?. The double-mutant mal3? rps1801? also exhibits longer microtubules than mal3? single mutant alone. Our study suggests a possible involvement of mtr1p and the ribosome complex in modulating microtubule dynamics.
Project description:The contractile ring (CR) consists of bundled actin filaments and myosin II; however, the actin-bundling factor remains elusive. We show that the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe IQGAP Rng2 is involved in the generation of CR F-actin and required for its arrangement into a ring. An N-terminal fragment of Rng2 is necessary for the function of Rng2 and is localized to CR F-actin. In vitro the fragment promotes actin polymerization and forms linear arrays of F-actin, which are resistant to the depolymerization induced by the actin-depolymerizing factor Adf1. Our findings indicate that Rng2 is involved in the generation of CR F-actin and simultaneously bundles the filaments and regulates its dynamics by counteracting the effects of Adf1, thus enabling the reconstruction of CR F-actin bundles, which provides an insight into the physical properties of the building blocks that comprise the CR.
Project description:Cell cycle progression is coupled to cell growth, but the mechanisms that generate growth-dependent cell cycle progression remain unclear. Fission yeast cells enter into mitosis at a defined size due to the conserved cell cycle kinases Cdr1 and Cdr2, which localize to a set of cortical nodes in the cell middle. Cdr2 is regulated by the cell polarity kinase Pom1, suggesting that interactions between cell polarity proteins and the Cdr1-Cdr2 module might underlie the coordination of cell growth and division. To identify the molecular connections between Cdr1/2 and cell polarity, we performed a comprehensive pairwise yeast two-hybrid screen. From the resulting interaction network, we found that the protein Skb1 interacted with both Cdr1 and the Cdr1 inhibitory target Wee1. Skb1 inhibited mitotic entry through negative regulation of Cdr1 and localized to both the cytoplasm and a novel set of cortical nodes. Skb1 nodes were distinct structures from Cdr1/2 nodes, and artificial targeting of Skb1 to Cdr1/2 nodes delayed entry into mitosis. We propose that the formation of distinct node structures in the cell cortex controls signaling pathways to link cell growth and division.
Project description:Dispersed genetic elements, such as retrotransposons and Pol-III-transcribed genes, including tRNA and 5S rRNA, cluster and associate with centromeres in fission yeast through the function of condensin. However, the dynamics of these condensin-mediated genomic associations remains unknown. We have examined the 3D motions of genomic loci including the centromere, telomere, rDNA repeat locus, and the loci carrying Pol-III-transcribed genes or long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons in live cells at as short as 1.5-second intervals. Treatment with carbendazim (CBZ), a microtubule-destabilizing agent, not only prevents centromeric motion, but also reduces the mobility of the other genomic loci during interphase. Further analyses demonstrate that condensin-mediated associations between centromeres and the genomic loci are clonal, infrequent and transient. However, when associated, centromeres and the genomic loci migrate together in a coordinated fashion. In addition, a condensin mutation that disrupts associations between centromeres and the genomic loci results in a concomitant decrease in the mobility of the loci. Our study suggests that highly mobile centromeres pulled by microtubules in cytoplasm serve as 'genome mobility elements' by facilitating physical relocations of associating genomic regions.
Project description:Proper microtubule organization is essential for cellular processes such as organelle positioning during interphase and spindle formation during mitosis. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe presents a good model for understanding microtubule organization. We identify fission yeast ase1p, a member of the conserved ASE1/PRC1/MAP65 family of microtubule bundling proteins, which functions in organizing the spindle midzone during mitosis. Using fluorescence live cell imaging, we show that ase1p localizes to sites of microtubule overlaps associated with microtubule organizing centers at both interphase and mitosis. ase1Delta mutants fail to form overlapping antiparallel microtubule bundles, leading to interphase nuclear positioning defects, and premature mitotic spindle collapse. FRAP analysis revealed that interphase ase1p at overlapping microtubule minus ends is highly dynamic. In contrast, mitotic ase1p at microtubule plus ends at the spindle midzone is more stable. We propose that ase1p functions to organize microtubules into overlapping antiparallel bundles both in interphase and mitosis and that ase1p may be differentially regulated through the cell cycle.
Project description:The cytoskeleton is essential for the maintenance of cell morphology in eukaryotes. In fission yeast, for example, polarized growth sites are organized by actin, whereas microtubules (MTs) acting upstream control where growth occurs. Growth is limited to the cell poles when MTs undergo catastrophes there and not elsewhere on the cortex. Here, we report that the modulation of MT dynamics by forces as observed in vitro can quantitatively explain the localization of MT catastrophes in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. However, we found that it is necessary to add length-dependent catastrophe rates to make the model fully consistent with other previously measured traits of MTs. We explain the measured statistical distribution of MT-cortex contact times and re-examine the curling behavior of MTs in unbranched straight tea1Delta cells. Importantly, the model demonstrates that MTs together with associated proteins such as depolymerizing kinesins are, in principle, sufficient to mark the cell poles.
Project description:In fission yeast cells cortical nodes containing the protein Blt1p and several kinases appear early in G2, mature into cytokinetic nodes by adding anillin Mid1p, myosin-II, formin Cdc12p, and other proteins, and condense into a contractile ring by movements that depend on actin and myosin-II. Previous studies concluded that cells without Mid1p lack cytokinetic nodes and assemble rings unreliably from myosin-II strands but left open questions. Why do strands form outside the equatorial region? Why is ring assembly unreliable without Mid1p? We found in ?mid1 cells that Cdc12p accumulates in cytokinetic nodes scattered in the cortex and produces actin filaments that associate with myosin-II, Rng2p, and Cdc15p to form strands located between the nodes. Strands incorporate nodes, and in ~67% of cells, strands slowly close into rings that constrict without the normal ~25-min maturation period. Ring assembly is unreliable and slow without Mid1p because the scattered Cdc12p nodes generate strands spread widely beyond the equator, and growing strands depend on random encounters to merge with other strands into a ring. We conclude that orderly assembly of the contractile ring in wild-type cells depends on Mid1p to recruit myosin-II, Rng2p, and Cdc15p to nodes and to place cytokinetic nodes around the cell equator.