[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of Cdc42 and its regulation during cytokinesis is not well understood. Using biochemical and imaging approaches in budding yeast, we demonstrate that Cdc42 activation peaks during the G1/S transition and during anaphase but drops during mitotic exit and cytokinesis. Cdc5/Polo kinase is an important upstream cell cycle regulator that suppresses Cdc42 activity. Failure to down-regulate Cdc42 during mitotic exit impairs the normal localization of key cytokinesis regulators-Iqg1 and Inn1-at the division site, and results in an abnormal septum. The effects of Cdc42 hyperactivation are largely mediated by the Cdc42 effector p21-activated kinase Ste20. Inhibition of Cdc42 and related Rho guanosine triphosphatases may be a general feature of cytokinesis in eukaryotes.
The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2013; 202(2):231-40. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular motors play critical roles in the formation of mitotic spindles, either through controlling the stability of individual microtubules, or by crosslinking and sliding microtubule arrays. Kinesin-8 motors are best known for their regulatory roles in controlling microtubule dynamics. They contain microtubule-destabilizing activities, and restrict spindle length in a wide variety of cell types and organisms. Here, we report an antiparallel microtubule-sliding activity of the budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3. The in vivo importance of this sliding activity was established through the identification of complementary Kip3 mutants that separate the sliding activity and microtubule-destabilizing activity. In conjunction with Cin8, a kinesin-5 family member, the sliding activity of Kip3 promotes bipolar spindle assembly and the maintenance of genome stability. We propose a slide-disassemble model where the sliding and destabilizing activity of Kip3 balance during pre-anaphase. This facilitates normal spindle assembly. However, the destabilizing activity of Kip3 dominates in late anaphase, inhibiting spindle elongation and ultimately promoting spindle disassembly.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular defects that impair the fidelity of mitosis promote chromosome missegregation and aneuploidy. Increasing evidence reveals that errors in mitosis can also promote the direct and indirect acquisition of DNA damage and chromosome breaks. Consequently, deregulated cell division can devastate the integrity of the normal genome and unleash a variety of oncogenic stimuli that may promote transformation. Recent work has shed light on the mechanisms that link abnormal mitosis with the development of DNA damage, how cells respond to such affronts, and the potential impact on tumorigenesis.
The Journal of Cell Biology 12/2012; 199(6):871-81. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The stereotypical function of kinesin superfamily motors is to transport cargo along microtubules. However, some kinesins also shape the microtubule track by regulating microtubule assembly and disassembly. Recent work has shown that the kinesin-8 family of motors emerge as key regulators of cellular microtubule length. The studied kinesin-8s are highly processive motors that walk towards the microtubule plus-end. Once at plus-ends, they have complex effects on polymer dynamics; kinesin-8s either destabilize or stabilize microtubules, depending on the context. This review focuses on the mechanisms underlying kinesin-8-microtubule interactions and microtubule length control. We compare and contrast kinesin-8s with the other major microtubule-regulating kinesins (kinesin-4 and kinesin-13), to survey the current understanding of the diverse ways that kinesins control microtubule dynamics.
Trends in cell biology 09/2012; 22(11):567-75. · 12.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Formin-family proteins promote the assembly of linear actin filaments and are required to generate cellular actin structures, such as actin stress fibers and the cytokinetic actomyosin contractile ring. Many formin proteins are regulated by an autoinhibition mechanism involving intramolecular binding of a Diaphanous inhibitory domain and a Diaphanous autoregulatory domain. However, the activation mechanism for these Diaphanous-related formins (DRFs) is not completely understood. Although small GTPases play an important role in relieving autoinhibition, other factors likely contribute. Here we describe a requirement for the septin Shs1 and the septin-associated kinase Gin4 for the localization and in vivo activity of the budding yeast DRF Bnr1. In budding yeast strains in which the other formin, Bni1, is conditionally inactivated, the loss of Gin4 or Shs1 results in the loss of actin cables and cell death, similar to the loss of Bnr1. The defects in these strains can be suppressed by constitutive activation of Bnr1. Gin4 is involved in both the localization and activation of Bnr1, whereas the septin Shs1 is required for Bnr1 activation but not its localization. Gin4 promotes the activity of Bnr1 independently of the Gin4 kinase activity, and Gin4 lacking its kinase domain binds to the critical localization region of Bnr1. These data reveal novel regulatory links between the actin and septin cytoskeletons.
Molecular biology of the cell 08/2012; 23(20):4041-53. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular wound healing, enabling the repair of membrane damage, is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. One aspect of the wound healing response is the redirection of a polarized cytoskeleton and the secretory machinery to the damage site. Although there has been recent progress in identifying conserved proteins involved in wound healing, the mechanisms linking these components into a coherent response are not defined. Using laser damage in budding yeast, we demonstrate that local cell wall/membrane damage triggers the dispersal of proteins from the site of polarized growth, enabling their accumulation at the wound. We define a protein-kinase-C-dependent mechanism that mediates the destruction of the formin Bni1 and the exocyst component Sec3. This degradation is essential to prevent competition between the site of polarized growth and the wound. Mechanisms to overcome competition from a pre-existing polarized cytoskeleton may be a general feature of effective wound healing in polarized cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data from human tumors and mouse models suggest that tetraploidy, one example of polyploidy, can promote tumorigenesis. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Davoli and De Lange make important connections between tetraploidy, tumorigenesis, and telomere crisis-a common event during the development of human cancers.
Cancer cell 06/2012; 21(6):712-4. · 25.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a computational method that infers tumor purity and malignant cell ploidy directly from analysis of somatic DNA alterations. The method, named ABSOLUTE, can detect subclonal heterogeneity and somatic homozygosity, and it can calculate statistical sensitivity for detection of specific aberrations. We used ABSOLUTE to analyze exome sequencing data from 214 ovarian carcinoma tumor-normal pairs. This analysis identified both pervasive subclonal somatic point-mutations and a small subset of predominantly clonal and homozygous mutations, which were overrepresented in the tumor suppressor genes TP53 and NF1 and in a candidate tumor suppressor gene CDK12. We also used ABSOLUTE to infer absolute allelic copy-number profiles from 3,155 diverse cancer specimens, revealing that genome-doubling events are common in human cancer, likely occur in cells that are already aneuploid, and influence pathways of tumor progression (for example, with recessive inactivation of NF1 being less common after genome doubling). ABSOLUTE will facilitate the design of clinical sequencing studies and studies of cancer genome evolution and intra-tumor heterogeneity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The involvement of whole-chromosome aneuploidy in tumorigenesis is the subject of debate, in large part because of the lack of insight into underlying mechanisms. Here we identify a mechanism by which errors in mitotic chromosome segregation generate DNA breaks via the formation of structures called micronuclei. Whole-chromosome-containing micronuclei form when mitotic errors produce lagging chromosomes. We tracked the fate of newly generated micronuclei and found that they undergo defective and asynchronous DNA replication, resulting in DNA damage and often extensive fragmentation of the chromosome in the micronucleus. Micronuclei can persist in cells over several generations but the chromosome in the micronucleus can also be distributed to daughter nuclei. Thus, chromosome segregation errors potentially lead to mutations and chromosome rearrangements that can integrate into the genome. Pulverization of chromosomes in micronuclei may also be one explanation for 'chromothripsis' in cancer and developmental disorders, where isolated chromosomes or chromosome arms undergo massive local DNA breakage and rearrangement.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic instability, which includes both numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities, is a hallmark of cancer. Whereas the structural chromosome rearrangements have received substantial attention, the role of whole-chromosome aneuploidy in cancer is much less well-understood. Here we review recent progress in understanding the roles of whole-chromosome aneuploidy in cancer, including the mechanistic causes of aneuploidy, the cellular responses to chromosome gains or losses and how cells might adapt to tolerate these usually detrimental alterations. We also explore the role of aneuploidy in cellular transformation and discuss the possibility of developing aneuploidy-specific therapies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kinesin-8 family of microtubule motors plays a critical role in microtubule length control in cells. These motors have complex effects on microtubule dynamics: they destabilize growing microtubules yet stabilize shrinking microtubules. The budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3, accumulates on plus ends of growing but not shrinking microtubules. Here we identify an essential role of the tail domain of Kip3 in mediating both its destabilizing and its stabilizing activities. The Kip3 tail promotes Kip3's accumulation at the plus ends and facilitates the destabilizing effect of Kip3. However, the Kip3 tail also inhibits microtubule shrinkage and is required for promoting microtubule rescue by Kip3. These effects of the tail domain are likely to be mediated by the tubulin- and microtubule-binding activities that we describe. We propose a concentration-dependent model for the coordination of the destabilizing and stabilizing activities of Kip3 and discuss its relevance to cellular microtubule organization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centrioles are microtubule-derived structures that are essential for the formation of centrosomes, cilia and flagella. The centrosome is the major microtubule organiser in animal cells, participating in a variety of processes, from cell polarisation to cell division, whereas cilia and flagella contribute to several mechanisms in eukaryotic cells, from motility to sensing. Although it was suggested more than a century ago that these microtubule-derived structures are involved in human disease, the molecular bases of this association have only recently been discovered. Surprisingly, there is very little overlap between the genes affected in the different diseases, suggesting that there are tissue-specific requirements for these microtubule-derived structures. Knowledge of these requirements and disease mechanisms has opened new avenues for therapeutical strategies. Here, we give an overview of recent developments in this field, focusing on cancer, diseases of brain development and ciliopathies.
Trends in Genetics 06/2011; 27(8):307-15. · 9.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The conserved mitotic kinase Bub1 performs multiple functions that are only partially characterized. Besides its role in the spindle assembly checkpoint and chromosome alignment, Bub1 is crucial for the kinetochore recruitment of multiple proteins, among them Sgo1. Both Bub1 and Sgo1 are dispensable for growth of haploid and diploid budding yeast, but they become essential in cells with higher ploidy. We find that overexpression of SGO1 partially corrects the chromosome segregation defect of bub1Δ haploid cells and restores viability to bub1Δ tetraploid cells. Using an unbiased high-copy suppressor screen, we identified two members of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), BIR1 (survivin) and SLI15 (INCENP, inner centromere protein), as suppressors of the growth defect of both bub1Δ and sgo1Δ tetraploids, suggesting that these mutants die due to defects in chromosome biorientation. Overexpression of BIR1 or SLI15 also complements the benomyl sensitivity of haploid bub1Δ and sgo1Δ cells. Mutants lacking SGO1 fail to biorient sister chromatids attached to the same spindle pole (syntelic attachment) after nocodazole treatment. Moreover, the sgo1Δ cells accumulate syntelic attachments in unperturbed mitoses, a defect that is partially corrected by BIR1 or SLI15 overexpression. We show that in budding yeast neither Bub1 nor Sgo1 is required for CPC localization or affects Aurora B activity. Instead we identify Sgo1 as a possible partner of Mps1, a mitotic kinase suggested to have an Aurora B-independent function in establishment of biorientation. We found that Sgo1 overexpression rescues defects caused by metaphase inactivation of Mps1 and that Mps1 is required for Sgo1 localization to the kinetochore. We propose that Bub1, Sgo1, and Mps1 facilitate chromosome biorientation independently of the Aurora B-mediated pathway at the budding yeast kinetochore and that both pathways are required for the efficient turnover of syntelic attachments.
Molecular biology of the cell 03/2011; 22(9):1473-85. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A report in this issue describes "chromothripsis," a new mechanism for genetic instability in cancer cells. Chromothripsis appears to be a cataclysmic event in which a single chromosome is fragmented and then reassembled. The phenomenon raises important questions of how chromosome rearrangements can be confined to defined genome segments.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to somatic cells, formation of acentriolar meiotic spindles relies on the organization of microtubules (MTs) and MT-organizing centers (MTOCs) into a stable bipolar structure. The underlying mechanisms are still unknown. We show that this process is impaired in hepatoma up-regulated protein (Hurp) knockout mice, which are viable but female sterile, showing defective oocyte divisions. HURP accumulates on interpolar MTs in the vicinity of chromosomes via Kinesin-5 activity. By promoting MT stability in the spindle central domain, HURP allows efficient MTOC sorting into distinct poles, providing bipolarity establishment and maintenance. Our results support a new model for meiotic spindle assembly in which HURP ensures assembly of a central MT array, which serves as a scaffold for the genesis of a robust bipolar structure supporting efficient chromosome congression. Furthermore, HURP is also required for the clustering of extra centrosomes before division, arguing for a shared molecular requirement of MTOC sorting in mammalian meiosis and cancer cell division.
The Journal of Cell Biology 12/2010; 191(7):1251-60. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genomic instability disorder characterized by bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition. FA is caused by mutations in any one of several genes that encode proteins cooperating in a repair pathway and is required for cellular resistance to DNA crosslinking agents. Recent studies suggest that the FA pathway may also play a role in mitosis, since FANCD2 and FANCI, the 2 key FA proteins, are localized to the extremities of ultrafine DNA bridges (UFBs), which link sister chromatids during cell division. However, whether FA proteins regulate cell division remains unclear. Here we have shown that FA pathway-deficient cells display an increased number of UFBs compared with FA pathway-proficient cells. The UFBs were coated by BLM (the RecQ helicase mutated in Bloom syndrome) in early mitosis. In contrast, the FA protein FANCM was recruited to the UFBs at a later stage. The increased number of bridges in FA pathway-deficient cells correlated with a higher rate of cytokinesis failure resulting in binucleated cells. Binucleated cells were also detectable in primary murine FA pathway-deficient hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and bone marrow stromal cells from human patients with FA. Based on these observations, we suggest that cytokinesis failure followed by apoptosis may contribute to bone marrow failure in patients with FA.
The Journal of clinical investigation 10/2010; 120(11):3834-42. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mps1, a dual-specificity kinase, is required for the proper functioning of the spindle assembly checkpoint and for the maintenance of chromosomal stability. As Mps1 function has been implicated in numerous phases of the cell cycle, the development of a potent, selective small-molecule inhibitor of Mps1 should facilitate dissection of Mps1-related biology. We describe the cellular effects and Mps1 cocrystal structures of new, selective small-molecule inhibitors of Mps1. Consistent with RNAi studies, chemical inhibition of Mps1 leads to defects in Mad1 and Mad2 establishment at unattached kinetochores, decreased Aurora B kinase activity, premature mitotic exit and gross aneuploidy, without any evidence of centrosome duplication defects. However, in U2OS cells having extra centrosomes (an abnormality found in some cancers), Mps1 inhibition increases the frequency of multipolar mitoses. Lastly, Mps1 inhibitor treatment resulted in a decrease in cancer cell viability.
Nature Chemical Biology 04/2010; 6(5):359-68. · 12.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report that eight heterozygous missense mutations in TUBB3, encoding the neuron-specific beta-tubulin isotype III, result in a spectrum of human nervous system disorders that we now call the TUBB3 syndromes. Each mutation causes the ocular motility disorder CFEOM3, whereas some also result in intellectual and behavioral impairments, facial paralysis, and/or later-onset axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Neuroimaging reveals a spectrum of abnormalities including hypoplasia of oculomotor nerves and dysgenesis of the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, and corticospinal tracts. A knock-in disease mouse model reveals axon guidance defects without evidence of cortical cell migration abnormalities. We show that the disease-associated mutations can impair tubulin heterodimer formation in vitro, although folded mutant heterodimers can still polymerize into microtubules. Modeling each mutation in yeast tubulin demonstrates that all alter dynamic instability whereas a subset disrupts the interaction of microtubules with kinesin motors. These findings demonstrate that normal TUBB3 is required for axon guidance and maintenance in mammals.