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Studying Mitotic Checkpoint by Illustrating Dynamic Kinetochore Protein Behavior and Chromosome Motion in Living Drosophila Syncytial Embryos

Lookup NU author(s): Maureen Sinclair, Dr Jun-yong Huang

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Abstract

The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) mechanism is an active signal, which monitors the interaction between chromosome kinetochores and spindle microtubules to prevent anaphase onset until the chromosomes are properly connected. Cells use this mechanism to prevent aneuploidy or genomic instability, and hence cancers and other human diseases like birth defects and Alzheimer's. A number of the SAC components such as Mad1, Mad2, Bub1, BubR1, Bub3, Mps1, Zw10, Rod and Aurora B kinase have been identified and they are all kinetochore dynamic proteins. Evidence suggests that the kinetochore is where the SAC signal is initiated. The SAC prime regulatory target is Cdc20. Cdc20 is one of the essential APC/C (Anaphase Promoting Complex or Cyclosome) activators and is also a kinetochore dynamic protein. When activated, the SAC inhibits the activity of the APC/C to prevent the destruction of two key substrates, cyclin B and securin, thereby preventing the metaphase to anaphase transition. Exactly how the SAC signal is initiated and assembled on the kinetochores and relayed onto the APC/C to inhibit its function still remains elusive. Drosophila is an extremely tractable experimental system; a much simpler and better-understood organism compared to the human but one that shares fundamental processes in common. It is, perhaps, one of the best organisms to use for bio-imaging studies in living cells, especially for visualization of the mitotic events in space and time, as the early embryo goes through 13 rapid nuclear division cycles synchronously (8-10 minutes for each cycle at 25°C) and gradually organizes the nuclei in a single monolayer just underneath the cortex. Here, I present a bio-imaging method using transgenic Drosophila expressing GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) or its variant-targeted proteins of interest and a Leica TCS SP2 confocal laser scanning microscope system to study the SAC function in flies, by showing images of GFP fusion proteins of some of the SAC components, Cdc20 and Mad2, as the example.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Sinclair M, Huang JY

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Visualized Experiments

Year: 2012

Issue: 64

Print publication date: 14/06/2012

ISSN (electronic): 1940-087X

Publisher: Journal of Visualized Experiments

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/3763

DOI: 10.3791/3763


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