In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (2)

Articles by Colby P. Fees in JoVE

Other articles by Colby P. Fees on PubMed

Activation of Src and Release of Intracellular Calcium by Phosphatidic Acid During Xenopus Laevis Fertilization

Developmental Biology. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24269904

We report a new step in the fertilization in Xenopus laevis which has been found to involve activation of Src tyrosine kinase to stimulate phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ) which increases inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) to release intracellular calcium ([Ca](i)). Molecular species analysis and mass measurements suggested that sperm activate phospholipase D (PLD) to elevate phosphatidic acid (PA). We now report that PA mass increased 2.7 fold by 1 min after insemination and inhibition of PA production by two methods inhibited activation of Src and PLCγ, increased [Ca](i) and other fertilization events. As compared to 14 other lipids, PA specifically bound Xenopus Src but not PLCγ. Addition of synthetic PA activated egg Src (an action requiring intact lipid rafts) and PLCγ as well as doubling the amount of PLCγ in rafts. In the absence of elevated [Ca](i), PA addition elevated IP3 mass to levels equivalent to that induced by sperm (but twice that achieved by calcium ionophore). Finally, PA induced [Ca](i) release that was blocked by an IP3 receptor inhibitor. As only PLD1b message was detected, and Western blotting did not detect PLD2, we suggest that sperm activate PLD1b to elevate PA which then binds to and activates Src leading to PLCγ stimulation, IP3 elevation and [Ca](i) release. Due to these and other studies, PA may also play a role in membrane fusion events such as sperm-egg fusion, cortical granule exocytosis, the elevation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and the large, late increase in sn 1,2-diacylglycerol in fertilization.

The Negatively Charged Carboxy-terminal Tail of β-tubulin Promotes Proper Chromosome Segregation

Molecular Biology of the Cell. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27053662

Despite the broadly conserved role of microtubules in chromosome segregation, we have a limited understanding of how molecular features of tubulin proteins contribute to the underlying mechanisms. Here we investigate the negatively charged carboxy-terminal tail domains (CTTs) of α- and β-tubulins, using a series of mutants that alter or ablate CTTs in budding yeast. We find that ablating β-CTT causes elevated rates of chromosome loss and cell cycle delay. Complementary live-cell imaging and electron tomography show that β-CTT is necessary to properly position kinetochores and organize microtubules within the assembling spindle. We identify a minimal region of negatively charged amino acids that is necessary and sufficient for proper chromosome segregation and provide evidence that this function may be conserved across species. Our results provide the first in vivo evidence of a specific role for tubulin CTTs in chromosome segregation. We propose that β-CTT promotes the ordered segregation of chromosomes by stabilizing the spindle and contributing to forces that move chromosomes toward the spindle poles.

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