DURING MEIOSIS, STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE OF CHROMOSOME (SMC) COMPLEXES UNDERPIN TWO FUNDAMENTAL FEATURES OF MEIOSIS: homologous recombination and chromosome segregation. While meiotic functions of the cohesin and condensin complexes have been delineated, the role of the third SMC complex, Smc5/6, remains enigmatic. Here we identify specific, essential meiotic functions for the Smc5/6 complex in homologous recombination and the regulation of cohesin. We show that Smc5/6 is enriched at centromeres and cohesin-association sites where it regulates sister-chromatid cohesion and the timely removal of cohesin from chromosomal arms, respectively. Smc5/6 also localizes to recombination hotspots, where it promotes normal formation and resolution of a subset of joint-molecule intermediates. In this regard, Smc5/6 functions independently of the major crossover pathway defined by the MutL? complex. Furthermore, we show that Smc5/6 is required for stable chromosomal localization of the XPF-family endonuclease, Mus81-Mms4(Eme1). Our data suggest that the Smc5/6 complex is required for specific recombination and chromosomal processes throughout meiosis and that in its absence, attempts at cell division with unresolved joint molecules and residual cohesin lead to severe recombination-induced meiotic catastrophe.
Sexually reproducing organisms halve their cellular ploidy during gametogenesis by undergoing a specialized form of cell division known as meiosis. During meiosis, a single round of DNA replication is followed by two rounds of nuclear divisions (referred to as meiosis I and II). While sister kinetochores bind to microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles during mitosis, they bind to microtubules originating from the same spindle pole during meiosis I. This phenomenon is referred to as mono-orientation and is essential for setting up the reductional mode of chromosome segregation during meiosis I. In budding yeast, mono-orientation depends on a four component protein complex referred to as monopolin which consists of two nucleolar proteins Csm1 and Lrs4, meiosis-specific protein Mam1 of unknown function and casein kinase Hrr25. Monopolin complex binds to kinetochores during meiosis I and prevents bipolar attachments. Although monopolin associates with kinetochores during meiosis I, its binding site(s) on the kinetochore is not known and its mechanism of action has not been established. By carrying out an imaging-based screen we have found that the MIND complex, a component of the central kinetochore, is required for monopolin association with kinetochores during meiosis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that interaction of monopolin subunit Csm1 with the N-terminal domain of MIND complex subunit Dsn1, is essential for both the association of monopolin with kinetochores and for monopolar attachment of sister kinetochores during meiosis I. As such this provides the first functional evidence for a monopolin-binding site at the kinetochore.
Modular gold amide chemotherapeutics: Access to modern chemotherapeutics with robust and flexible synthetic routes that are amenable to extensive customisation is a key requirement in drug synthesis and discovery. A class of chiral gold amide complexes featuring amino acid derived ligands is reported herein. They all exhibit in vitro cytotoxicity against two slow growing breast cancer cell lines with limited toxicity towards normal epithelial cells.
Circulating tumor cells (CTC) released into blood from primary cancers and metastases reflect the current status of tumor genotypes, which are prone to changes. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive genomic profiling of CTCs using array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and next-generation sequencing. We used the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared CellSearch system, which detected CTCs in 21 of 37 patients (range, 1-202/7.5 mL sample) with stage IV colorectal carcinoma. In total, we were able to isolate 37 intact CTCs from six patients and identified in those multiple colorectal cancer-associated copy number changes, many of which were also present in the respective primary tumor. We then used massive parallel sequencing of a panel of 68 colorectal cancer-associated genes to compare the mutation spectrum in the primary tumors, metastases, and the corresponding CTCs from two of these patients. Mutations in known driver genes [e.g., adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), KRAS, or PIK3CA] found in the primary tumor and metastasis were also detected in corresponding CTCs. However, we also observed mutations exclusively in CTCs. To address whether these mutations were derived from a small subclone in the primary tumor or represented new variants of metastatic cells, we conducted additional deep sequencing of the primary tumor and metastasis and applied a customized statistical algorithm for analysis. We found that most mutations initially found only in CTCs were also present at subclonal level in the primary tumors and metastases from the same patient. This study paves the way to use CTCs as a liquid biopsy in patients with cancer, providing more effective options to monitor tumor genomes that are prone to change during progression, treatment, and relapse.
With the increasing number of available predictive biomarkers, clinical management of cancer is becoming increasingly reliant on the accurate serial monitoring of tumor genotypes. We tested whether tumor-specific copy number changes can be inferred from the peripheral blood of patients with cancer. To this end, we determined the plasma DNA size distribution and the fraction of mutated plasma DNA fragments with deep sequencing and an ultrasensitive mutation-detection method, i.e., the Beads, Emulsion, Amplification, and Magnetics (BEAMing) assay. When analyzing the plasma DNA of 32 patients with Stage IV colorectal carcinoma, we found that a subset of the patients (34.4%) had a biphasic size distribution of plasma DNA fragments that was associated with increased circulating tumor cell numbers and elevated concentration of mutated plasma DNA fragments. In these cases, we were able to establish genome-wide tumor-specific copy number alterations directly from plasma DNA. Thus, we could analyze the current copy number status of the tumor genome, which was in some cases many years after diagnosis of the primary tumor. An unexpected finding was that not all patients with progressive metastatic disease appear to release tumor DNA into the circulation in measurable quantities. When we analyzed plasma DNA from 35 patients with metastatic breast cancer, we made similar observations suggesting that our approach may be applicable to a variety of tumor entities. This is the first description of such a biphasic distribution in a surprisingly high proportion of cancer patients which may have important implications for tumor diagnosis and monitoring.
Cells coordinate spindle formation with DNA repair and morphological modifications to chromosomes prior to their segregation to prevent cell division with damaged chromosomes. Here we uncover a novel and unexpected role for Aurora kinase in preventing the formation of spindles by Clb5-CDK (S-CDK) during meiotic prophase I and when the DDR is active in budding yeast. This is critical since S-CDK is essential for replication during premeiotic S-phase as well as double-strand break induction that facilitates meiotic recombination and, ultimately, chromosome segregation. Furthermore, we find that depletion of Cdc5 polo kinase activity delays spindle formation in DDR-arrested cells and that ectopic expression of Cdc5 in prophase I enhances spindle formation, when Ipl1 is depleted. Our findings establish a new paradigm for Aurora kinase function in both negative and positive regulation of spindle dynamics.
The embryonic ventricular and subventricular zones (VZ/SVZ) contain the neuronal stem and progenitor cells and undergo rapid proliferation. The intermediate zone (IZ) contains nonreplicating, differentiated cells. The VZ/SVZ is hypersensitive to radiation-induced apoptosis. Ablation of DNA non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) proteins, XRCC4 or DNA ligase IV (LigIV), confers ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-dependent apoptosis predominantly in the IZ. We examine the mechanistic basis underlying these distinct sensitivities using a viable LigIV (Lig4(Y288C)) mouse, which permits an examination of the DNA damage responses in the embryonic and adult brain. Via combined analysis of DNA breakage, apoptosis, and cell-cycle checkpoint control in tissues, we show that apoptosis in the VZ/SVZ and IZ is activated by low numbers of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Unexpectedly, high sensitivity in the VZ/SVZ arises from sensitive activation of ATM-dependent apoptosis plus an ATM-independent process. In contrast, the IZ appears to be hypersensitive to persistent DSBs. NHEJ functions efficiently in both compartments. The VZ/SVZ and IZ regions incur high endogenous DNA breakage, which correlates with VZ proliferation. We demonstrate a functional G(2)/M checkpoint in VZ/SVZ cells and show that it is not activated by low numbers of DSBs, allowing damaged VZ/SVZ cells to transit into the IZ. We propose a novel model in which microcephaly in LIG4 syndrome arises from sensitive apoptotic induction from persisting DSBs in the IZ, which arise from high endogenous breakage in the VZ/SVZ and transit of damaged cells to the IZ. The VZ/SVZ, in contrast, is highly sensitive to acute radiation-induced DSB formation.
Recent discoveries have identified the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) as the potential missing link that could explain how the synaptonemal complex (SC) is formed during meiosis. The SC is important for a variety of chromosome interactions during meiosis and appears ladder-like. It is formed when axes of the two homologous chromosomes become connected by the deposition of transverse filaments, forming the steps of the ladder. Although several components of axial and transverse elements have been identified, how the two are connected to form the SC has remained an enigma. Recent discoveries suggest that SUMO modification underlies protein-protein interactions within the SC of budding yeast. The versatility of SUMO in regulating protein-protein interactions adds an exciting new dimension to our understanding of the SC and suggests that SCs are not homogenous structures throughout the nucleus. We propose that this heterogeneity may allow differential regulation of chromosome structure and function.
Orodispersible films for oral delivery are gaining popularity. Whereas breath-fresheners and over-the-counter products have already become quite common in the US, the first prescription drug films were introduced into the EU and US markets only very recently. Already considered as a unique Rx (prescription drug) dosage form by the FDA (oral soluble film), such products are not substitutable by conventional oral dosage forms. The official term defined by the European Medicines Agency is orodispersible film (ODF).
The analysis of structural variants associated with specific phenotypic features is promising for the elucidation of the function of involved genes. There is, however, at present no approach allowing the rapid mapping of chromosomal translocation breakpoints to the basepair level from a single chromosome. Here we demonstrate that we have advanced both the microdissection and the subsequent unbiased amplification to an extent that breakpoint mapping to the basepair level has become possible. As a case in point we analysed the two breakpoints of a t(7;13) translocation observed in a patient with split hand/foot malformation (SHFM1). The amplification products of the der(7) and of the der(13) were hybridized to custom-made arrays, enabling us to define primers at flanking breakpoint regions and thus to fine-map the breakpoints to the basepair level. Consequently, our results will also contribute to a further delineation of causative mechanisms underlying SHFM1 which are currently unknown.
The faithful alignment of homologous chromosomes during meiotic prophase requires the coordination of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair with large-scale chromosome reorganization. Here we identify the phosphatase PP4 (Pph3/Psy2) as a mediator of this process in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In pp4 mutants, early stages of crossover repair and homology-independent pairing of centromeres are coordinately blocked. We traced the loss of centromere pairing to the persistent phosphorylation of the chromosomal protein Zip1 on serine 75. Zip1-S75 is a consensus site for the ATR-like checkpoint kinase Mec1, and centromere pairing is restored in mec1 mutants. Importantly, Zip1-S75 phosphorylation does not alter chromosome synapsis or DSB repair, indicating that Mec1 separates centromere pairing from the other functions of Zip1. The centromeric localization and persistent activity of PP4 during meiotic prophase suggest a model whereby Zip1-S75 phosphorylation dynamically destabilizes homology-independent centromere pairing in response to recombination initiation, thereby coupling meiotic chromosome dynamics to DSB repair.
Mlh1p forms three heterodimers that are important for mismatch repair (Mlh1p/Pms1p), crossing over during meiosis (Mlh1p/Mlh3p), and channeling crossover events into a specific pathway (Mlh1p/Mlh2p). All four proteins contain highly conserved ATPase domains and Pms1p has endonuclease activity. Studies of the functional requirements for Mlh1p/Pms1p in Saccharomyces cerevisae revealed an asymmetric contribution of the ATPase domains to repairing mismatches. Here we investigate the functional requirements of the Mlh1p and Mlh3p ATPase domains in meiosis by constructing separation of function mutations in Mlh3p. These mutations are analogous to mutations of Mlh1p that have been shown to lead to loss of ATP binding and/or ATP hydrolysis. Our data suggest that ATP binding by Mlh3p is required for meiotic crossing over while ATP hydrolysis is dispensable. This has been seen previously for Mlh1p. However, when mutations that affect ATP hydrolysis by both Mlh3p and Mlh1p are combined within a single cell, meiotic crossover frequencies are reduced. These observations suggest that the function of the Mlh1p/Mlh3p heterodimer requires both subunits to bind ATP but only one to efficiently hydrolyze it. Additionally, two different amino acid substitutions to the same residue (G97) in Mlh3p affect the minor mismatch repair function of Mlh3p while only one of them compromises its ability to promote crossing over. These studies thus reveal different functional requirements among the heterodimers formed by Mlh1p.
Crossing over establishes connections between homologous chromosomes that promote their proper segregation at the first meiotic division. However, there exists a backup system to ensure the correct segregation of those chromosome pairs that fail to cross over. We have found that, in budding yeast, a mutation eliminating the synaptonemal complex protein, Zip1, increases the meiosis I nondisjunction rate of nonexchange chromosomes (NECs). The centromeres of NECs become tethered during meiotic prophase, and this tethering is disrupted by the zip1 mutation. Furthermore, the Zip1 protein often colocalizes to the centromeres of the tethered chromosomes, suggesting that Zip1 plays a direct role in holding NECs together. Zip3, a protein involved in the initiation of synaptonemal complex formation, is also important for NEC segregation. In the absence of Zip3, both the tethering of NECs and the localization of Zip1 to centromeres are impaired. A mutation in the MAD3 gene, which encodes a component of the spindle checkpoint, also increases the nondisjunction of NECs. Together, the zip1 and mad3 mutations have an additive effect, suggesting that these proteins act in parallel pathways to promote NEC segregation. We propose that Mad3 promotes the segregation of NECs that are not tethered by Zip1 at their centromeres.
One of the most important principles of scientific endeavour is that the results be reproducible from lab to lab. Although research groups rarely redo the published experiments of their colleagues, research plans almost always rely on the work of someone else. The assumption is that if the same experiment were repeated in another lab, results would be so similar that the same interpretation would be favoured. This notion allows one researcher to compare his/her own results to earlier work from other labs. An essential prerequisite for this is that the experiments are done in identical conditions and therefore the methodology must be clearly stated. While this may be scientific common sense, adherence is difficult because "standard" methods vary from one laboratory to another in subtle ways that are often not reported. More importantly, for many years the field ofyeast meiotic recombination considered typical differences to be innocuous. This chapter will highlight the documented environmental and genetic variables that are known to influence meiotic recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Other potential methodological sources of variation in meiotic experiments are also discussed. A careful assessment of the effects of these variables, has led to insights into our understanding of the control of recombination and meiosis.
Several protein kinases collaborate to orchestrate and integrate cellular and chromosomal events at the G2/M transition in both mitotic and meiotic cells. During the G2/M transition in meiosis, this includes the completion of crossover recombination, spindle formation, and synaptonemal complex (SC) breakdown. We identified Ipl1/Aurora B kinase as the main regulator of SC disassembly. Mutants lacking Ipl1 or its kinase activity assemble SCs with normal timing, but fail to dissociate the central element component Zip1, as well as its binding partner, Smt3/SUMO, from chromosomes in a timely fashion. Moreover, lack of Ipl1 activity causes delayed SC disassembly in a cdc5 as well as a CDC5-inducible ndt80 mutant. Crossover levels in the ipl1 mutant are similar to those observed in wild type, indicating that full SC disassembly is not a prerequisite for joint molecule resolution and subsequent crossover formation. Moreover, expression of meiosis I and meiosis II-specific B-type cyclins occur normally in ipl1 mutants, despite delayed formation of anaphase I spindles. These observations suggest that Ipl1 coordinates changes to meiotic chromosome structure with resolution of crossovers and cell cycle progression at the end of meiotic prophase.
In many organisms, homologous chromosomes rely upon recombination-mediated linkages, termed crossovers, to promote their accurate segregation at meiosis I. In budding yeast, the evolutionarily conserved mismatch-repair paralogues, Msh4 and Msh5, promote crossover formation in conjunction with several other proteins, collectively termed the Synapsis Initiation Complex (SIC) proteins or ZMMs (Zip1-Zip2-Zip3-Zip4-Spo16, Msh4-Msh5, Mer3). zmm mutants show decreased levels of crossovers and increased chromosome missegregation, which is thought to cause decreased spore viability.
Clinical DNA is often available in limited quantities requiring whole-genome amplification for subsequent genome-wide assessment of copy-number variation (CNV) by array-CGH. In pre-implantation diagnosis and analysis of micrometastases, even merely single cells are available for analysis. However, procedures allowing high-resolution analyses of CNVs from single cells well below resolution limits of conventional cytogenetics are lacking. Here, we applied amplification products of single cells and of cell pools (5 or 10 cells) from patients with developmental delay, cancer cell lines and polar bodies to various oligo tiling array platforms with a median probe spacing as high as 65 bp. Our high-resolution analyses reveal that the low amounts of template DNA do not result in a completely unbiased whole genome amplification but that stochastic amplification artifacts, which become more obvious on array platforms with tiling path resolution, cause significant noise. We implemented a new evaluation algorithm specifically for the identification of small gains and losses in such very noisy ratio profiles. Our data suggest that when assessed with sufficiently sensitive methods high-resolution oligo-arrays allow a reliable identification of CNVs as small as 500 kb in cell pools (5 or 10 cells), and of 2.6-3.0 Mb in single cells.
Telomere dysfunction limits the proliferative capacity of human cells and induces organismal aging by activation of p53 and p21. Although deletion of p21 elongates the lifespan of telomere-dysfunctional mice, a direct analysis of p53 in telomere-related aging has been hampered by early tumor formation in p53 knockout mice. Here we analyzed the functional consequences of conditional p53 deletion. Intestinal deletion of p53 shortened the lifespan of telomere-dysfunctional mice without inducing tumor formation. In contrast to p21 deletion, the deletion of p53 impaired the depletion of chromosomal-instable intestinal stem cells in aging telomere-dysfunctional mice. These instable stem cells contributed to epithelial regeneration leading to an accumulation of chromosomal instability, increased apoptosis, altered epithelial cell differentiation and premature intestinal failure. Together, these results provide the first experimental evidence for an organ system in which p53-dependent mechanisms prevent tissue destruction in response to telomere dysfunction by depleting genetically instable stem cells.
Predation shapes many fundamental aspects of ecology. Uncertainty remains, however, about whether predators can influence patterns of temporal niche construction at ecologically relevant timescales. Partitioning of time is an important mechanism by which prey avoid interactions with predators. However, the traits that control a prey organisms capacity to operate during a particular portion of the diel cycle are diverse and complex. Thus, diel prey niches are often assumed to be relatively unlikely to respond to changes in predation risk at short timescales. Here we present evidence to the contrary. We report results that suggest that the anthropogenic depletion of daytime active predators (species that are either diurnal or cathemeral) in a coral reef ecosystem is associated with rapid temporal niche expansions in a multi-species assemblage of nocturnal prey fishes. Diurnal comparisons of nocturnal prey fish abundance in predator rich and predator depleted reefs at two atolls revealed that nocturnal fish were approximately six (biomass) and eight (density) times more common during the day on predator depleted reefs. Amongst these, the prey species that likely were the most specialized for nocturnal living, and thus the most vulnerable to predation (i.e. those with greatest eye size to body length ratio), showed the strongest diurnal increases at sites where daytime active predators were rare. While we were unable to determine whether these observed increases in diurnal abundance by nocturnal prey were the result of a numerical or behavioral response, either effect could be ecologically significant. These results raise the possibility that predation may play an important role in regulating the partitioning of time by prey and that anthropogenic depletions of predators may be capable of causing rapid changes to key properties of temporal community architecture.
p53 limits the self-renewal of stem cells from various tissues. Loss of p53, in combination with other oncogenic events, results in aberrant self-renewal and transformation of progenitor cells. It is not known whether loss of p53 is sufficient to induce tumor formation in liver.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.