[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CPC [chromosomal passenger complex; INCENP (inner centromere protein), Aurora B kinase, survivin and borealin] is implicated in many mitotic processes. In the present paper we describe how we generated DT40 conditional-knockout cell lines for incenp1 and survivin1 to better understand the role of these CPC subunits in the control of Aurora B kinase activity. These lines enabled us to reassess current knowledge of survivin function and to show that INCENP acts as a rheostat for Aurora B activity.
Biochemical Society Transactions 12/2010; 38(6):1655-9. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Survivin is a key cellular protein thought to function in apoptotic regulation, mitotic progression, or possibly both. In this study, we describe the isolation of two conditional knockouts of the survivin gene in chicken DT40 cells. DT40 cells lacking Survivin die in interphase after failing to complete cytokinesis. However, these cells show normal sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agent etoposide. Expression of Survivin mutants against a null background to reassess the role of several key residues reveals that DT40 cells can grow normally if their sole Survivin is missing a widely studied cyclin-dependent kinase phosphorylation site or sites reportedly essential for binding to Smac or aurora B. Mutations in the nuclear export sequence or dimerization interface render cells temperature sensitive for growth. As an important caveat for other studies in which protein function is studied by transient transfection, three of the Survivin mutants fail to localize in the presence of the wild-type protein but do localize and indeed support life in its absence.
The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2008; 183(2):279-96. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a method for the isolation of conditional knockouts of essential multiply spliced genes in which the entire body of the gene downstream of the ATG start codon is left untouched but can be switched off rapidly and completely by adding tetracycline to the culture medium. The approach centers on a "promoter-hijack" strategy in which the gene's promoter is replaced with a minimal promoter responsive to the tetracycline-repressible transactivator (tTA). Elsewhere in the genome, a cloned fragment of the gene's promoter is used to drive expression of a tTA. Thus, the gene is essentially regulated by its own promoter but through the intermediary tTA. Using this strategy, we generated a conditional knockout of chromokinesin KIF4A, an important mitotic effector protein whose mRNA is multiply spliced and whose cDNA is highly toxic when overexpressed in cells. We used chicken DT40 cells, but the same strategy should be applicable to ES cells and, eventually, to mice.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2008; 105(7):2457-62. · 9.74 Impact Factor