Spindle formation, chromosome segregation and the spindle checkpoint in mammalian oocytes and susceptibility to meiotic error.
ABSTRACT The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) monitors attachment to microtubules and tension on chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis. It represents a surveillance mechanism that halts cells in M-phase in the presence of unattached chromosomes, associated with accumulation of checkpoint components, in particular, Mad2, at the kinetochores. A complex between the anaphase promoting factor/cylosome (APC/C), its accessory protein Cdc20 and proteins of the SAC renders APC/C inactive, usually until all chromosomes are properly assembled at the spindle equator (chromosome congression) and under tension from spindle fibres. Upon release from the SAC the APC/C can target proteins like cyclin B and securin for degradation by the proteasome. Securin degradation causes activation of separase proteolytic enzyme, and in mitosis cleavage of cohesin proteins at the centromeres and arms of sister chromatids. In meiosis I only the cohesin proteins at the sister chromatid arms are cleaved. This requires meiosis specific components and tight regulation by kinase and phosphatase activities. There is no S-phase between meiotic divisions. Second meiosis resembles mitosis. Mammalian oocytes arrest constitutively at metaphase II in presence of aligned chromosomes, which is due to the activity of the cytostatic factor (CSF). The SAC has been identified in spermatogenesis and oogenesis, but gender-differences may contribute to sex-specific differential responses to aneugens. The age-related reduction in expression of components of the SAC in mammalian oocytes may act synergistically with spindle and other cell organelles' dysfunction, and a partial loss of cohesion between sister chromatids to predispose oocytes to errors in chromosome segregation. This might affect dose-response to aneugens. In view of the tendency to have children at advanced maternal ages it appears relevant to pursue studies on consequences of ageing on the susceptibility of human oocytes to the induction of meiotic error by aneugens and establish models to assess risks to human health by environmental exposures.
Article: Roles of MAPK and spindle assembly checkpoint in spontaneous activation and MIII arrest of rat oocytes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rat oocytes are well known to undergo spontaneous activation (SA) after leaving the oviduct, but the SA is abortive with oocytes being arrested in metaphase III (MIII) instead of forming pronuclei. This study was designed to investigate the mechanism causing SA and MIII arrest. Whereas few oocytes collected from SD rats at 13 h after hCG injection that showed 100% of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activities activated spontaneously, all oocytes recovered 19 h post hCG with MAPK decreased to below 75% underwent SA during in vitro culture. During SA, MAPK first declined to below 45% and then increased again to 80%; the maturation-promoting factor (MPF) activity fluctuated similarly but always began to change ahead of the MAPK activity. In SA oocytes with 75% of MAPK activities, microtubules were disturbed with irregularly pulled chromosomes dispersed over the spindle and the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) was activated. When MAPK decreased to 45%, the spindle disintegrated and chromosomes surrounded by microtubules were scattered in the ooplasm. SA oocytes entered MIII and formed several spindle-like structures by 6 h of culture when the MAPK activity re-increased to above 80%. While SA oocytes showed one Ca(2+) rise, Sr(2+)-activated oocytes showed several. Together, the results suggested that SA stimuli triggered SA in rat oocytes by inducing a premature MAPK inactivation, which led to disturbance of spindle microtubules. The microtubule disturbance impaired pulling of chromosomes to the spindle poles, caused spindle disintegration and activated SAC. The increased SAC activity reactivated MPF and thus MAPK, leading to MIII arrest.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e32044. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aneuploidy, any deviation from an exact multiple of the haploid number of chromosomes, is a common occurrence in cancer and represents the most frequent chromosomal disorder in newborns. Eukaryotes have evolved mechanisms to assure the fidelity of chromosome segregation during cell division that include a multiplicity of checks and controls. One of the main cell division control mechanisms is the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) that monitors the proper attachment of chromosomes to spindle fibers and prevents anaphase until all kinetochores are properly attached. The mammalian SAC is composed of at least 14 evolutionary-conserved proteins that work in a coordinated fashion to monitor the establishment of amphitelic attachment of all chromosomes before allowing cell division to occur. Among the SAC proteins, the budding uninhibited by benzimidazole protein 1 (Bub1), is a highly conserved protein of prominent importance for the proper functioning of the SAC. Studies have revealed many roles for Bub1 in both mitosis and meiosis, including the localization of other SAC proteins to the kinetochore, SAC signaling, metaphase congression and the protection of sister chromatid cohesion. Recent data show striking sex specific differences in the response of germ cells to alterations in Bub1 activity. Proper Bub1 functioning is particularly important during oogenesis in preventing the generation of aneuploid gametes that can have detrimental effects on the health status of the fetus and the newborn. These data suggest that Bub1 is a master regulator of SAC and chromosomal segregation in both mitosis and meiosis. Elucidating its many essential functions in regulating proper chromosome segregation can have important consequences for preventing tumorigenesis and developmental abnormalities.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 01/2010; 9(1):58-63. · 5.36 Impact Factor
Article: A single bivalent efficiently inhibits cyclin B1 degradation and polar body extrusion in mouse oocytes indicating robust SAC during female meiosis I.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC) inhibits anaphase until microtubule-to-kinetochore attachments are formed, thus securing correct chromosome separation and preventing aneuploidy. Whereas in mitosis even a single unattached chromosome keeps the SAC active, the high incidence of aneuploidy related to maternal meiotic errors raises a concern about the lower efficiency of SAC in oocytes. Recently it was suggested that in mouse oocytes, contrary to somatic cells, not a single chromosome but a critical mass of chromosomes triggers efficient SAC pointing to the necessity of evaluating the robustness of SAC in oocytes. Two types of errors in chromosome segregation upon meiosis I related to SAC were envisaged: (1) SAC escape, when kinetochores emit SAC-activating signal unable to stop anaphase I; and (2) SAC deceive, when kinetochores do not emit the signal. Using micromanipulations and live imaging of the first polar body extrusion, as well as the dynamics of cyclin B1 degradation, here we show that in mouse oocytes a single bivalent keeps the SAC active. This is the first direct evaluation of SAC efficiency in mouse oocytes, which provides strong evidence that the robustness of SAC in mammalian oocytes is comparable to other cell types. Our data do not contradict the hypothesis of the critical mass of chromosomes necessary for SAC activation, but suggest that the same rule may govern SAC activity also in other cell types. We postulate that the innate susceptibility of oocytes to errors in chromosome segregation during the first meiotic division may not be caused by lower efficiency of SAC itself, but could be linked to high critical chromosome mass necessary to keep SAC active in oocyte of large size.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27143. · 4.09 Impact Factor