Gregory Rogers

Gregory C. Rogers, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. His laboratory is located in the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

The Rogers laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms cells use to maintain stability of their genomes. This is medically relevant because genomic instability can promote tumorigenesis. During mitosis, cells face particular risk, as errors in chromosome segregation can lead to chromosome instability (CIN) which is characterized, in part, by an abnormal chromosome complement (known as aneuploidy). Indeed, aneuploidy promotes malignant transformation and is an underlying cause of birth defects. Mitotic spindles are used to faithfully segregate chromosomes into daughter cells and, for this to occur properly, it is critical that cells assemble spindles with a bipolar fusiform-shape. Cells control spindle shape using centrosomes, tiny organelles that nucleate the microtubule cytoskeleton and organize the two spindle poles. Normally, cells contain a single centrosome which duplicates once per cell cycle, thus ensuring that cells enter mitosis with only two centrosomes to build a bipolar spindle. Cancer cells, however, overduplicate their centrosomes, which leads to multipolar spindle formation and chromosome instability. In fact, most human tumors contain cells with elevated centrosome numbers and aneuploid genomes. Importantly, the fundamental mechanisms that cells use to control their centrosome number are unclear, nor is it understood how this regulation goes awry in cancer. His work centers on characterizing a particular pathway (the Plk4 pathway) to control the biogenesis of centrosomes. This pathway utilizes both phosphorylation and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis as regulatory mechanisms in a complex signaling pathway to control the biogenesis of centrosomes.

The Use Of Cultured Drosophila Cells For Studying The Microtubule Cytoskeleton. Source: Methods In Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
March 17th, 2014 PMID: 24633795 Gregory Rogers
Cultured Drosophila cell lines have been developed into a powerful tool for studying a wide variety of cellular processes. Their ability to be easily and cheaply cultured as well as their susceptibility to protein knockdown via double-stranded RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) has made them the model system of choice for many researchers in the fields of cell biology and functional genomics. Here we describe basic techniques for gene knockdown, transgene expression, preparation for fluorescence microscopy, and centrosome enrichment using cultured Drosophila cells with an emphasis on studying the microtubule cytoskeleton.<br /><br />
Polo Like Kinase 4 Autodestructs By Generating Its Slimb Binding Phosphodegron. Source: Current Biology : Cb
October 31st, 2013 PMID: 24184097 Gregory Rogers
Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4) is a conserved master regulator of centriole assembly. Previously, we found that Drosophila Plk4 protein levels are actively suppressed during interphase. Degradation of interphase Plk4 prevents centriole overduplication and is mediated by the ubiquitin-ligase complex SCF(Slimb/βTrCP). Since Plk4 stability depends on its activity, we studied the consequences of inactivating Plk4 or perturbing its phosphorylation state within its Slimb-recognition motif (SRM). Mass spectrometry of in-vitro-phosphorylated Plk4 and Plk4 purified from cells reveals that it is directly responsible for extensively autophosphorylating and generating its Slimb-binding phosphodegron. Phosphorylatable residues within this regulatory region were systematically mutated to determine their impact on Plk4 protein levels and centriole duplication when expressed in S2 cells. Notably, autophosphorylation of a single residue (Ser293) within the SRM is critical for Slimb binding and ubiquitination. Our data also demonstrate that autophosphorylation of numerous residues flanking S293 collectively contribute to establishing a high-affinity binding site for SCF(Slimb). Taken together, our findings suggest that Plk4 directly generates its own phosphodegron and can do so without the assistance of an additional kinase(s).<br /><br />
Maintenance Of Interphase Chromosome Compaction And Homolog Pairing In Drosophila Is Regulated By The Condensin Cap H2 And Its Partner Mrg15. Source: Genetics
July 2nd, 2013 PMID: 23821596 Gregory Rogers
Dynamic regulation of chromosome structure and organization is critical for fundamental cellular processes such as gene expression and chromosome segregation. Condensins are conserved chromosome-associated proteins that regulate a variety of chromosome dynamics, including axial shortening, lateral compaction, and homolog pairing. However, how the in vivo activities of condensins are regulated and how functional interactors target condensins to chromatin are not well understood. To better understand how Drosophila melanogaster condensin is regulated, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified the chromo-barrel domain protein Mrg15 to interact with the Cap-H2 condensin subunit. Genetic interactions demonstrate that Mrg15 function is required for Cap-H2-mediated unpairing of polytene chromosomes in ovarian nurse cells and salivary gland cells. In diploid tissues, transvection assays demonstrate that Mrg15 inhibits transvection at Ubx and cooperates with Cap-H2 to antagonize transvection at yellow. In cultured cells, we show that levels of chromatin-bound Cap-H2 protein are partially dependent on Mrg15 and that Cap-H2-mediated homolog unpairing is suppressed by RNA interference depletion of Mrg15. Thus, maintenance of interphase chromosome compaction and homolog pairing status requires both Mrg15 and Cap-H2. We propose a model where the Mrg15 and Cap-H2 protein-protein interaction may serve to recruit Cap-H2 to chromatin and facilitates compaction of interphase chromatin.<br /><br />
Scf Slimb Ubiquitin Ligase Suppresses Condensin Ii Mediated Nuclear Reorganization By Degrading Cap H2. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
March 25th, 2013 PMID: 23530065 Gregory Rogers
Condensin complexes play vital roles in chromosome condensation during mitosis and meiosis. Condensin II uniquely localizes to chromatin throughout the cell cycle and, in addition to its mitotic duties, modulates chromosome organization and gene expression during interphase. Mitotic condensin activity is regulated by phosphorylation, but mechanisms that regulate condensin II during interphase are unclear. Here, we report that condensin II is inactivated when its subunit Cap-H2 is targeted for degradation by the SCF(Slimb) ubiquitin ligase complex and that disruption of this process dramatically changed interphase chromatin organization. Inhibition of SCF(Slimb) function reorganized interphase chromosomes into dense, compact domains and disrupted homologue pairing in both cultured Drosophila cells and in vivo, but these effects were rescued by condensin II inactivation. Furthermore, Cap-H2 stabilization distorted nuclear envelopes and dispersed Cid/CENP-A on interphase chromosomes. Therefore, SCF(Slimb)-mediated down-regulation of condensin II is required to maintain proper organization and morphology of the interphase nucleus.<br /><br />
Subdiffraction Resolution Fluorescence Microscopy Reveals A Domain Of The Centrosome Critical For Pericentriolar Material Organization. Source: Nature Cell Biology
October 21st, 2012 PMID: 23086239 Gregory Rogers
As the main microtubule-organizing centre in animal cells, the centrosome has a fundamental role in cell function. Surrounding the centrioles, the pericentriolar material (PCM) provides a dynamic platform for nucleating microtubules. Although the importance of the PCM is established, its amorphous electron-dense nature has made it refractory to structural investigation. By using SIM and STORM subdiffraction-resolution microscopies to visualize proteins critical for centrosome maturation, we demonstrate that the PCM is organized into two main structural domains: a layer juxtaposed to the centriole wall, and proteins extending farther away from the centriole organized in a matrix. Analysis of Pericentrin-like protein (PLP) reveals that its carboxy terminus is positioned at the centriole wall, it radiates outwards into the matrix and is organized in clusters having quasi-nine-fold symmetry. By RNA-mediated interference (RNAi), we show that PLP fibrils are required for interphase recruitment and proper mitotic assembly of the PCM matrix.<br /><br />
The Structure Of The Plk4 Cryptic Polo Box Reveals Two Tandem Polo Boxes Required For Centriole Duplication. Source: Structure (London, England : 1993)
September 20th, 2012 PMID: 23000383 Gregory Rogers
Centrioles are key microtubule polarity determinants. Centriole duplication is tightly controlled to prevent cells from developing multipolar spindles, a situation that promotes chromosomal instability. A conserved component in the duplication pathway is Plk4, a polo kinase family member that localizes to centrioles in M/G1. To limit centriole duplication, Plk4 levels are controlled through trans-autophosphorylation that primes ubiquitination. In contrast to Plks 1-3, Plk4 possesses a unique central region called the "cryptic polo box." Here, we present the crystal structure of this region at 2.3 Å resolution. Surprisingly, the structure reveals two tandem homodimerized polo boxes, PB1-PB2, that form a unique winged architecture. The full PB1-PB2 cassette is required for binding the centriolar protein Asterless as well as robust centriole targeting. Thus, with its C-terminal polo box (PB3), Plk4 has a triple polo box architecture that facilitates oligomerization, targeting, and promotes trans-autophosphorylation, limiting centriole duplication to once per cell cycle.<br /><br />
Show Me Your License, Please: Deregulation Of Centriole Duplication Mechanisms That Promote Amplification. Source: Cellular And Molecular Life Sciences : Cmls
August 15th, 2012 PMID: 22892665 Gregory Rogers
Centrosomes are organelles involved in generating and organizing the interphase microtubule cytoskeleton, mitotic spindles and cilia. At the centrosome core are a pair of centrioles, structures that act as the duplicating elements of this organelle. Centrioles function to recruit and organize pericentriolar material which nucleates microtubules. While centrioles are relatively simple in construction, the mechanics of centriole biogenesis remain an important yet poorly understood process. More mysterious still are the regulatory mechanisms that oversee centriole assembly. The fidelity of centriole duplication is critical as defects in either the assembly or number of centrioles promote aneuploidy, primary microcephaly, birth defects, ciliopathies and tumorigenesis. In addition, some pathogens employ mechanisms to promote centriole overduplication to the detriment of the host cell. This review summarizes our current understanding of this important topic, highlighting the need for further study if new therapeutics are to be developed to treat diseases arising from defects of centrosome duplication.<br /><br />
Defining Components Of The ß Catenin Destruction Complex And Exploring Its Regulation And Mechanisms Of Action During Development. Source: Plo S One
February 16th, 2012 PMID: 22359584 Gregory Rogers
BACKGROUND:<br />A subset of signaling pathways play exceptionally important roles in embryonic and post-embryonic development, and mis-regulation of these pathways occurs in most human cancers. One such pathway is the Wnt pathway. The primary mechanism keeping Wnt signaling off in the absence of ligand is regulated proteasomal destruction of the canonical Wnt effector ßcatenin (or its fly homolog Armadillo). A substantial body of evidence indicates that SCF(βTrCP) mediates βcat destruction, however, an essential role for Roc1 has not been demonstrated in this process, as would be predicted. In addition, other E3 ligases have also been proposed to destroy βcat, suggesting that βcat destruction may be regulated differently in different tissues.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:<br />Here we used cultured Drosophila cells, human colon cancer cells, and Drosophila embryos and larvae to explore the machinery that targets Armadillo for destruction. Using RNAi in Drosophila S2 cells to examine which SCF components are essential for Armadillo destruction, we find that Roc1/Roc1a is essential for regulating Armadillo stability, and that in these cells the only F-box protein playing a detectable role is Slimb. Second, we find that while embryonic and larval Drosophila tissues use the same destruction complex proteins, the response of these tissues to destruction complex inactivation differs, with Armadillo levels more elevated in embryos. We provide evidence consistent with the possibility that this is due to differences in armadillo mRNA levels. Third, we find that there is no correlation between the ability of different APC2 mutant proteins to negatively regulate Armadillo levels, and their recently described function in positively-regulating Wnt signaling. Finally, we demonstrate that APC proteins lacking the N-terminal Armadillo-repeat domain cannot restore Armadillo destruction but retain residual function in negatively-regulating Wnt signaling.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:<br />We use these data to refine our model for how Wnt signaling is regulated during normal development.<br /><br />
The Protein Phosphatase 2 A Regulatory Subunit Twins Stabilizes Plk4 To Induce Centriole Amplification. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
October 10th, 2011 PMID: 21987638 Gregory Rogers
Centriole duplication is a tightly regulated process that must occur only once per cell cycle; otherwise, supernumerary centrioles can induce aneuploidy and tumorigenesis. Plk4 (Polo-like kinase 4) activity initiates centriole duplication and is regulated by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Throughout interphase, Plk4 autophosphorylation triggers its degradation, thus preventing centriole amplification. However, Plk4 activity is required during mitosis for proper centriole duplication, but the mechanism stabilizing mitotic Plk4 is unknown. In this paper, we show that PP2A (Protein Phosphatase 2A(Twins)) counteracts Plk4 autophosphorylation, thus stabilizing Plk4 and promoting centriole duplication. Like Plk4, the protein level of PP2A's regulatory subunit, Twins (Tws), peaks during mitosis and is required for centriole duplication. However, untimely Tws expression stabilizes Plk4 inappropriately, inducing centriole amplification. Paradoxically, expression of tumor-promoting simian virus 40 small tumor antigen (ST), a reported PP2A inhibitor, promotes centrosome amplification by an unknown mechanism. We demonstrate that ST actually mimics Tws function in stabilizing Plk4 and inducing centriole amplification.<br /><br />
Spindle Assembly: More Than Just Microtubules. Source: Current Biology : Cb
July 13th, 2011 PMID: 21749958 Gregory Rogers
Do actin dynamics play an active role in mitotic spindle assembly? A new study demonstrates that cortical actin polymerization assists with the earliest phase of spindle pole migration.<br /><br />
Angiogenic Factor Signaling Regulates Centrosome Duplication In Endothelial Cells Of Developing Blood Vessels. Source: Blood
July 27th, 2010 PMID: 20664058 Gregory Rogers
Regulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling is required for proper angiogenesis, and excess VEGF signaling results in aberrantly formed vessels that do not function properly. Tumor endothelial cells have excess centrosomes and are aneuploid, properties that probably contribute to the morphologic and functional abnormalities of tumor vessels. We hypothesized that endothelial cell centrosome number is regulated by signaling via angiogenic factors, such as VEGF. We found that endothelial cells in developing vessels exposed to elevated VEGF signaling display centrosome overduplication. Signaling from VEGF, through either MEK/ERK or AKT to cyclin E/Cdk2, is amplified in association with centrosome overduplication, and blockade of relevant pathway components rescued the centrosome overduplication defect. Endothelial cells exposed to elevated FGF also had excess centrosomes, suggesting that multiple angiogenic factors regulate centrosome number. Endothelial cells with excess centrosomes survived and formed aberrant spindles at mitosis. Developing vessels exposed to elevated VEGF signaling also exhibited increased aneuploidy of endothelial cells, which is associated with cellular dysfunction. These results provide the first link between VEGF signaling and regulation of the centrosome duplication cycle, and suggest that endothelial cell centrosome overduplication contributes to aberrant angiogenesis in developing vessel networks exposed to excess angiogenic factors.<br><br>
Preparation Of Drosophila S2 Cells For Light Microscopy. Source: Journal Of Visualized Experiments : Jo Ve
June 3rd, 2010 PMID: 20543772 Gregory Rogers
The ideal experimental system would be cheap and easy to maintain, amenable to a variety of techniques, and would be supported by an extensive literature and genome sequence database. Cultured Drosophila S2 cells, the product of disassociated 20-24 hour old embryos, possess all these properties. Consequently, S2 cells are extremely well-suited for the analysis of cellular processes, including the discovery of the genes encoding the molecular components of the process or mechanism of interest. The features of S2 cells that are most responsible for their utility are the ease with which they are maintained, their exquisite sensitivity to double-stranded (ds)RNA-mediated interference (RNAi), and their tractability to fluorescence microscopy as either live or fixed cells. S2 cells can be grown in a variety of media, including a number of inexpensive, commercially-available, fully-defined, serum-free media. In addition, they grow optimally and quickly at 21-24 degrees C and can be cultured in a variety of containers. Unlike mammalian cells, S2 cells do not require a regulated atmosphere, but instead do well with normal air and can even be maintained in sealed flasks. Complementing the ease of RNAi in S2 cells is the ability to readily analyze experimentally-induced phenotypes by phase or fluorescence microscopy of fixed or live cells. S2 cells grow in culture as a single monolayer but do not display contact inhibition. Instead, cells tend to grow in colonies in dense cultures. At low density, S2 cultures grown on glass or tissue culture-treated plastic are round and loosely-attached. However, the cytology of S2 cells can be greatly improved by inducing them to flatten extensively by briefly culturing them on a surface coated with the lectin, concanavalin A (ConA). S2 cells can also be stably transfected with fluorescently-tagged markers to label structures or organelles of interest in live or fixed cells. Therefore, the usual scenario for the microscopic analysis of cells is this: first, S2 cells (which can possess transgenes to express tagged markers) are treated by RNAi to eliminate a target protein(s). RNAi treatment time can be adjusted to allow for differences in protein turn-over kinetics and to minimize cell trauma/death if the target protein is important for viability. Next, the treated cells are transferred to a dish containing a coverslip pre-coated with conA to induce cells to spread and tightly adhere to the glass. Finally, cells are imaged with the researcher's choice of microscopy modes. S2 cells are particularly good for studies requiring extended visualization of live cells since these cells stay healthy at room temperature and normal atmosphere.<br><br>
The Drosophila Kinesin 13, Klp59 D, Impacts Pacman And Flux Based Chromosome Movement. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
September 30th, 2009 PMID: 19793918 Gregory Rogers
Chromosome movements are linked to the active depolymerization of spindle microtubule (MT) ends. Here we identify the kinesin-13 family member, KLP59D, as a novel and uniquely important regulator of spindle MT dynamics and chromosome motility in Drosophila somatic cells. During prometaphase and metaphase, depletion of KLP59D, which targets to centrosomes and outer kinetochores, suppresses the depolymerization of spindle pole-associated MT minus ends, thereby inhibiting poleward tubulin Flux. Subsequently, during anaphase, loss of KLP59D strongly attenuates chromatid-to-pole motion by suppressing the depolymerization of both minus and plus ends of kinetochore-associated MTs. The mechanism of KLP59D's impact on spindle MT plus and minus ends appears to differ. Our data support a model in which KLP59D directly depolymerizes kinetochore-associated plus ends during anaphase, but influences minus ends indirectly by localizing the pole-associated MT depolymerase KLP10A. Finally, electron microscopy indicates that, unlike the other Drosophila kinesin-13s, KLP59D is largely incapable of oligomerizing into MT-associated rings in vitro, suggesting that such structures are not a requisite feature of kinetochore-based MT disassembly and chromosome movements.<br /><br />
The Scf Slimb Ubiquitin Ligase Regulates Plk4/Sak Levels To Block Centriole Reduplication. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
January 27th, 2009 PMID: 19171756 Gregory Rogers
Restricting centriole duplication to once per cell cycle is critical for chromosome segregation and genomic stability, but the mechanisms underlying this block to reduplication are unclear. Genetic analyses have suggested an involvement for Skp/Cullin/F box (SCF)-class ubiquitin ligases in this process. In this study, we describe a mechanism to prevent centriole reduplication in Drosophila melanogaster whereby the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase in complex with the F-box protein Slimb mediates proteolytic degradation of the centrosomal regulatory kinase Plk4. We identified SCF(Slimb) as a regulator of centriole duplication via an RNA interference (RNAi) screen of Cullin-based ubiquitin ligases. We found that Plk4 binds to Slimb and is an SCF(Slimb) target. Both Slimb and Plk4 localize to centrioles, with Plk4 levels highest at mitosis and absent during S phase. Using a Plk4 Slimb-binding mutant and Slimb RNAi, we show that Slimb regulates Plk4 localization to centrioles during interphase, thus regulating centriole number and ensuring the block to centriole reduplication.<br /><br />
Centrosome Function: Sometimes Less Is More. Source: Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
January 24th, 2009 PMID: 19192251 Gregory Rogers
Tight regulation of centrosome duplication is critical to ensure that centrosome number doubles once and only once per cell cycle. Superimposed onto this centrosome duplication cycle is a functional centrosome cycle in which they alternate between phases of quiescence and robust microtubule (MT) nucleation and MT-anchoring activities. In vertebrate cycling cells, interphase centrioles accumulate less pericentriolar material (PCM), reducing their MT nucleation capacity. In mitosis, centrosomes mature, accumulating more PCM to increase their nucleation and anchoring capacities to form robust MT asters. Interestingly, functional cycles of centrosomes can be altered to suit the cell's needs. Some interphase centrosomes function as a microtubule-organizing center by increasing their ability to anchor MTs to form centrosomal radial arrays. Other interphase centrosomes maintain their MT nucleation capacity but reduce/eliminate their MT-anchoring capacity. Recent work demonstrates that Drosophila cells take this to the extreme, whereby centrioles lose all detectable PCM during interphase, offering an explanation as to how centrosome-deficient flies develop to adulthood. Drosophila stem cells further modify the functional cycle by differentially regulating their two centrioles - a situation that seems important for stem cell asymmetric divisions, as misregulation of centrosome duplication in stem/progenitor cells can promote tumor formation. Here, we review recent findings that describe variations in the functional cycle of centrosomes.<br /><br />
Cdt1 And Cdc6 Are Destabilized By Rereplication Induced Dna Damage. Source: The Journal Of Biological Chemistry
July 10th, 2008 PMID: 18617514 Gregory Rogers
The replication factors Cdt1 and Cdc6 are essential for origin licensing, a prerequisite for DNA replication initiation. Mechanisms to ensure that metazoan origins initiate once per cell cycle include degradation of Cdt1 during S phase and inhibition of Cdt1 by the geminin protein. Geminin depletion or overexpression of Cdt1 or Cdc6 in human cells causes rereplication, a form of endogenous DNA damage. Rereplication induced by these manipulations is however uneven and incomplete, suggesting that one or more mechanisms restrain rereplication once it begins. We find that both Cdt1 and Cdc6 are degraded in geminin-depleted cells. We further show that Cdt1 degradation in cells that have rereplicated requires the PCNA binding site of Cdt1 and the Cul4(DDB1) ubiquitin ligase, and Cdt1 can induce its own degradation when overproduced. Cdc6 degradation in geminin-depleted cells requires Huwe1, the ubiquitin ligase that regulates Cdc6 after DNA damage. Moreover, perturbations that specifically disrupt Cdt1 and Cdc6 degradation in response to DNA damage exacerbate rereplication when combined with geminin depletion, and this enhanced rereplication occurs in both human cells and in Drosophila melanogaster cells. We conclude that rereplication-associated DNA damage triggers Cdt1 and Cdc6 ubiquitination and destruction, and propose that this pathway represents an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that minimizes the extent of rereplication.<br /><br />
A Multicomponent Assembly Pathway Contributes To The Formation Of Acentrosomal Microtubule Arrays In Interphase Drosophila Cells. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
May 7th, 2008 PMID: 18463166 Gregory Rogers
In animal cells, centrosomes nucleate microtubules that form polarized arrays to organize the cytoplasm. Drosophila presents an interesting paradox however, as centrosome-deficient mutant animals develop into viable adults. To understand this discrepancy, we analyzed behaviors of centrosomes and microtubules in Drosophila cells, in culture and in vivo, using a combination of live-cell imaging, electron microscopy, and RNAi. The canonical model of the cycle of centrosome function in animal cells states that centrosomes act as microtubule-organizing centers throughout the cell cycle. Unexpectedly, we found that many Drosophila cell-types display an altered cycle, in which functional centrosomes are only present during cell division. On mitotic exit, centrosomes disassemble producing interphase cells containing centrioles that lack microtubule-nucleating activity. Furthermore, steady-state interphase microtubule levels are not changed by codepleting both gamma-tubulins. However, gamma-tubulin RNAi delays microtubule regrowth after depolymerization, suggesting that it may function partially redundantly with another pathway. Therefore, we examined additional microtubule nucleating factors and found that Mini-spindles, CLIP-190, EB1, or dynein RNAi also delayed microtubule regrowth; surprisingly, this was not further prolonged when we codepleted gamma-tubulins. Taken together, these results modify our view of the cycle of centrosome function and reveal a multi-component acentrosomal microtubule assembly pathway to establish interphase microtubule arrays in Drosophila.<br /><br />
Culture Of Drosophila S2 Cells And Their Use For Rn Ai Mediated Loss Of Function Studies And Immunofluorescence Microscopy. Source: Nature Protocols
April 4th, 2008 PMID: 18388942 Gregory Rogers
Cultured Drosophila cell lines have become an increasingly popular model system for cell biological and functional genomic studies. One of the most commonly used lines, S2 cells, is particularly useful as it is easy to grow and maintain in the lab, is highly susceptible to gene inhibition using RNAi and is well suited to high-resolution light microscopic assays. Here, we provide protocols for the routine culture and RNAi treatment of S2 cells and methods to prepare these cells for fluorescence microscopy. Using these techniques, loss-of-function experiments may be performed after 4-7 d of RNAi-mediated protein depletion.<br /><br />
Three Microtubule Severing Enzymes Contribute To The "Pacman Flux" Machinery That Moves Chromosomes. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
April 24th, 2007 PMID: 17452528 Gregory Rogers
Chromosomes move toward mitotic spindle poles by a Pacman-flux mechanism linked to microtubule depolymerization: chromosomes actively depolymerize attached microtubule plus ends (Pacman) while being reeled in to spindle poles by the continual poleward flow of tubulin subunits driven by minus-end depolymerization (flux). We report that Pacman-flux in Drosophila melanogaster incorporates the activities of three different microtubule severing enzymes, Spastin, Fidgetin, and Katanin. Spastin and Fidgetin are utilized to stimulate microtubule minus-end depolymerization and flux. Both proteins concentrate at centrosomes, where they catalyze the turnover of gamma-tubulin, consistent with the hypothesis that they exert their influence by releasing stabilizing gamma-tubulin ring complexes from minus ends. In contrast, Katanin appears to function primarily on anaphase chromosomes, where it stimulates microtubule plus-end depolymerization and Pacman-based chromatid motility. Collectively, these findings reveal novel and significant roles for microtubule severing within the spindle and broaden our understanding of the molecular machinery used to move chromosomes.<br /><br />
Microtubule Binding By Dynactin Is Required For Microtubule Organization But Not Cargo Transport. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
February 27th, 2007 PMID: 17325206 Gregory Rogers
Dynactin links cytoplasmic dynein and other motors to cargo and is involved in organizing radial microtubule arrays. The largest subunit of dynactin, p150(glued), binds the dynein intermediate chain and has an N-terminal microtubule-binding domain. To examine the role of microtubule binding by p150(glued), we replaced the wild-type p150(glued) in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells with mutant DeltaN-p150 lacking residues 1-200, which is unable to bind microtubules. Cells treated with cytochalasin D were used for analysis of cargo movement along microtubules. Strikingly, although the movement of both membranous organelles and messenger ribonucleoprotein complexes by dynein and kinesin-1 requires dynactin, the substitution of full-length p150(glued) with DeltaN-p150(glued) has no effect on the rate, processivity, or step size of transport. However, truncation of the microtubule-binding domain of p150(glued) has a dramatic effect on cell division, resulting in the generation of multipolar spindles and free microtubule-organizing centers. Thus, dynactin binding to microtubules is required for organizing spindle microtubule arrays but not cargo motility in vivo.<br /><br />
Spindle Microtubules In Flux. Source: Journal Of Cell Science
March 14th, 2005 PMID: 15764594 Gregory Rogers
Accurate and timely chromosome segregation is a task performed within meiotic and mitotic cells by a specialized force-generating structure--the spindle. This micromachine is constructed from numerous proteins, most notably the filamentous microtubules that form a structural framework for the spindle and also transmit forces through it. Poleward flux is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism used by spindle microtubules both to move chromosomes and to regulate spindle length. Recent studies have identified a microtubule-depolymerizing kinesin as a key force-generating component required for flux. On the basis of these findings, we propose a new model for flux powered by a microtubule-disassembly mechanism positioned at the spindle pole. In addition, we use the flux model to explain the results of spindle manipulation experiments to illustrate the importance of flux for proper chromosome positioning.<br /><br />
Functionally Distinct Kinesin 13 Family Members Cooperate To Regulate Microtubule Dynamics During Interphase. Source: Nature Cell Biology
February 20th, 2005 PMID: 15723056 Gregory Rogers
Regulation of microtubule polymerization and depolymerization is required for proper cell development. Here, we report that two proteins of the Drosophila melanogaster kinesin-13 family, KLP10A and KLP59C, cooperate to drive microtubule depolymerization in interphase cells. Analyses of microtubule dynamics in S2 cells depleted of these proteins indicate that both proteins stimulate depolymerization, but alter distinct parameters of dynamic instability; KLP10A stimulates catastrophe (a switch from growth to shrinkage) whereas KLP59C suppresses rescue (a switch from shrinkage to growth). Moreover, immunofluorescence and live analyses of cells expressing tagged kinesins reveal that KLP10A and KLP59C target to polymerizing and depolymerizing microtubule plus ends, respectively. Our data also suggest that KLP10A is deposited on microtubules by the plus-end tracking protein, EB1. Our findings support a model in which these two members of the kinesin-13 family divide the labour of microtubule depolymerization.<br /><br />
A Kin I Dependent Pacman Flux Mechanism For Anaphase A. Source: Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
June 20th, 2004 PMID: 15153812 Gregory Rogers
Anaphase A chromatid-to-pole motion is fundamental for proper chromosome segregation in most systems. During the past several decades, two models for the mechanism of anaphase A have come to prominence. The Pacman model posits that chromatids induce the depolymerization of microtubule plus-ends embedded in kinetochores, thereby 'chewing' their way poleward. Alternatively, the Poleward-flux model posits that chromatids are 'reeled-in' to poles by the continual depolymerization of the minus-ends of kinetochore-associated microtubules, which are focused at spindle poles. In a recent study, we reported that anaphase A in Drosophila requires the depolymerization of both ends of kinetochore-associated microtubules, simultaneously. This is driven by two members of the Kin I subfamily of kinesins, termed KLP59C and KLP10A, which target specifically to chromatids and spindle poles, respectively. We have termed this hybrid of Pacman and Poleward flux the Kin I-dependent Pacman-flux mechanism for anaphase A. Here, we discuss the implications of these findings and explore potential additional components required to drive chromatid-to-pole motion by such a mechanism.<br /><br />
Two Mitotic Kinesins Cooperate To Drive Sister Chromatid Separation During Anaphase. Source: Nature
December 14th, 2003 PMID: 14681690 Gregory Rogers
During anaphase identical sister chromatids separate and move towards opposite poles of the mitotic spindle. In the spindle, kinetochore microtubules have their plus ends embedded in the kinetochore and their minus ends at the spindle pole. Two models have been proposed to account for the movement of chromatids during anaphase. In the 'Pac-Man' model, kinetochores induce the depolymerization of kinetochore microtubules at their plus ends, which allows chromatids to move towards the pole by 'chewing up' microtubule tracks. In the 'poleward flux' model, kinetochores anchor kinetochore microtubules and chromatids are pulled towards the poles through the depolymerization of kinetochore microtubules at the minus ends. Here, we show that two functionally distinct microtubule-destabilizing KinI kinesin enzymes (so named because they possess a kinesin-like ATPase domain positioned internally within the polypeptide) are responsible for normal chromatid-to-pole motion in Drosophila. One of them, KLP59C, is required to depolymerize kinetochore microtubules at their kinetochore-associated plus ends, thereby contributing to chromatid motility through a Pac-Man-based mechanism. The other, KLP10A, is required to depolymerize microtubules at their pole-associated minus ends, thereby moving chromatids by means of poleward flux.<br /><br />
The Chromokinesin, Klp3 A, Dives Mitotic Spindle Pole Separation During Prometaphase And Anaphase And Facilitates Chromatid Motility. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
October 3rd, 2003 PMID: 14528012 Gregory Rogers
Mitosis requires the concerted activities of multiple microtubule (MT)-based motor proteins. Here we examined the contribution of the chromokinesin, KLP3A, to mitotic spindle morphogenesis and chromosome movements in Drosophila embryos and cultured S2 cells. By immunofluorescence, KLP3A associates with nonfibrous punctae that concentrate in nuclei and display MT-dependent associations with spindles. These punctae concentrate in indistinct domains associated with chromosomes and central spindles and form distinct bands associated with telophase midbodies. The functional disruption of KLP3A by antibodies or dominant negative proteins in embryos, or by RNA interference (RNAi) in S2 cells, does not block mitosis but produces defects in mitotic spindles. Time-lapse confocal observations of mitosis in living embryos reveal that KLP3A inhibition disrupts the organization of interpolar (ip) MTs and produces short spindles. Kinetic analysis suggests that KLP3A contributes to spindle pole separation during the prometaphase-to-metaphase transition (when it antagonizes Ncd) and anaphase B, to normal rates of chromatid motility during anaphase A, and to the proper spacing of daughter nuclei during telophase. We propose that KLP3A acts on MTs associated with chromosome arms and the central spindle to organize ipMT bundles, to drive spindle pole separation and to facilitate chromatid motility.<br /><br />
Drosophila Eb1 Is Important For Proper Assembly, Dynamics, And Positioning Of The Mitotic Spindle. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
September 3rd, 2002 PMID: 12213835 Gregory Rogers
EB1 is an evolutionarily conserved protein that localizes to the plus ends of growing microtubules. In yeast, the EB1 homologue (BIM1) has been shown to modulate microtubule dynamics and link microtubules to the cortex, but the functions of metazoan EB1 proteins remain unknown. Using a novel preparation of the Drosophila S2 cell line that promotes cell attachment and spreading, we visualized dynamics of single microtubules in real time and found that depletion of EB1 by RNA-mediated inhibition (RNAi) in interphase cells causes a dramatic increase in nondynamic microtubules (neither growing nor shrinking), but does not alter overall microtubule organization. In contrast, several defects in microtubule organization are observed in RNAi-treated mitotic cells, including a drastic reduction in astral microtubules, malformed mitotic spindles, defocused spindle poles, and mispositioning of spindles away from the cell center. Similar phenotypes were observed in mitotic spindles of Drosophila embryos that were microinjected with anti-EB1 antibodies. In addition, live cell imaging of mitosis in Drosophila embryos reveals defective spindle elongation and chromosomal segregation during anaphase after antibody injection. Our results reveal crucial roles for EB1 in mitosis, which we postulate involves its ability to promote the growth and interactions of microtubules within the central spindle and at the cell cortex.<br /><br />
Mitosis, Microtubules, And The Matrix. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
July 25th, 2001 PMID: 11470815 Gregory Rogers
The mechanical events of mitosis depend on the action of microtubules and mitotic motors, but whether these spindle components act alone or in concert with a spindle matrix is an important question.<br /><br />
Cytoplasmic Dynein Is Required For Poleward Chromosome Movement During Mitosis In Drosophila Embryos. Source: Nature Cell Biology
January 24th, 2001 PMID: 11146657 Gregory Rogers
The movement of chromosomes during mitosis occurs on a bipolar, microtubule-based protein machine, the mitotic spindle. It has long been proposed that poleward chromosome movements that occur during prometaphase and anaphase A are driven by the microtubule motor cytoplasmic dynein, which binds to kinetochores and transports them toward the minus ends of spindle microtubules. Here we evaluate this hypothesis using time-lapse confocal microscopy to visualize, in real time, kinetochore and chromatid movements in living Drosophila embryos in the presence and absence of specific inhibitors of cytoplasmic dynein. Our results show that dynein inhibitors disrupt the alignment of kinetochores on the metaphase spindle equator and also interfere with kinetochore- and chromatid-to-pole movements during anaphase A. Thus, dynein is essential for poleward chromosome motility throughout mitosis in Drosophila embryos.<br /><br />
Roles Of Two Homotetrameric Kinesins In Sea Urchin Embryonic Cell Division. Source: The Journal Of Biological Chemistry
December 18th, 2000 PMID: 11006281 Gregory Rogers
To improve our understanding of the roles of microtubule cross-linking motors in mitosis, we analyzed two sea urchin embryonic kinesin-related proteins. It is striking to note that both of these proteins behave as homotetramers, but one behaves as a more compact molecule than the other. These observations suggest that these two presumptive motors could cross-link microtubules into bundles with different spacing. Both motors localize to mitotic spindles, and antibody microinjection experiments suggest that they have mitotic functions. Thus, one of these kinesin-related proteins may cross-link spindle microtubules into loose bundles that are "tightened" by the other.<br /><br />
Microtubule Motors In Mitosis. Source: Nature
September 28th, 2000 PMID: 10993066 Gregory Rogers
The mitotic spindle uses microtubule-based motor proteins to assemble itself and to segregate sister chromatids. It is becoming clear that motors invoke several distinct mechanisms to generate the forces that drive mitosis. Moreover, in carrying out its function, the spindle appears to pass through a series of transient steady-state structures, each established by a delicate balance of forces generated by multiple complementary and antagonistic motors. Transitions from one steady state to the next can occur when a change in the activity of a subset of mitotic motors tips the balance.<br /><br />
A Kinesin Related Protein, Krp(180), Positions Prometaphase Spindle Poles During Early Sea Urchin Embryonic Cell Division. Source: The Journal Of Cell Biology
September 5th, 2000 PMID: 10931863 Gregory Rogers
We have investigated the intracellular roles of an Xklp2-related kinesin motor, KRP(180), in positioning spindle poles during early sea urchin embryonic cell division using quantitative, real-time analysis. Immunolocalization reveals that KRP(180) concentrates on microtubules in the central spindle, but is absent from centrosomes. Microinjection of inhibitory antibodies and dominant negative constructs suggest that KRP(180) is not required for the initial separation of spindle poles, but instead functions to transiently position spindle poles specifically during prometaphase.<br /><br />
Roles Of Motor Proteins In Building Microtubule Based Structures: A Basic Principle Of Cellular Design. Source: Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
June 20th, 2000 PMID: 10722882 Gregory Rogers
Eukaryotic cells must build a complex infrastructure of microtubules (MTs) and associated proteins to carry out a variety of functions. A growing body of evidence indicates that a major function of MT-associated motor proteins is to assemble and maintain this infrastructure. In this context, we examine the mechanisms utilized by motors to construct the arrays of MTs and associated proteins contained within the mitotic spindle, neuronal processes, and ciliary axonemes. We focus on the capacity of motors to drive the 'sliding filament mechanism' that is involved in the construction and maintenance of spindles, axons and dendrites, and on a type of particle transport called 'intraflagellar transport' which contributes to the assembly and maintenance of axonemes.<br /><br />
Functional Coordination Of Three Mitotic Motors In Drosophila Embryos. Source: Molecular Biology Of The Cell
April 7th, 2000 PMID: 10637305 Gregory Rogers
It is well established that multiple microtubule-based motors contribute to the formation and function of the mitotic spindle, but how the activities of these motors interrelate remains unclear. Here we visualize spindle formation in living Drosophila embryos to show that spindle pole movements are directed by a temporally coordinated balance of forces generated by three mitotic motors, cytoplasmic dynein, KLP61F, and Ncd. Specifically, our findings suggest that dynein acts to move the poles apart throughout mitosis and that this activity is augmented by KLP61F after the fenestration of the nuclear envelope, a process analogous to nuclear envelope breakdown, which occurs at the onset of prometaphase. Conversely, we find that Ncd generates forces that pull the poles together between interphase and metaphase, antagonizing the activity of both dynein and KLP61F and serving as a brake for spindle assembly. During anaphase, however, Ncd appears to have no effect on spindle pole movements, suggesting that its activity is down-regulated at this time, allowing dynein and KLP61F to drive spindle elongation during anaphase B.<br /><br />
Identification Of Kinesin C, A Calmodulin Binding Carboxy Terminal Kinesin In Animal (Strongylocentrotus Purpuratus) Cells. Source: Journal Of Molecular Biology
January 10th, 2000 PMID: 10556023 Gregory Rogers
Several novel members of the kinesin superfamily, until now identified only in plants, are unique in their ability to bind calmodulin in the presence of Ca(2+). Here, we identify the first such kinesin in an animal system. Sequence analysis of this new motor, called kinesin-C, predicts that it is a large carboxy-terminal kinesin, 1624 amino acid residues in length, with a predicted molecular mass of 181 kDa. Kinesin-C is predicted to contain a kinesin motor domain at its carboxy terminus, linked to a segment of alpha-helical coiled-coil 950 amino acid residues long, ending with an amino-terminal proline-rich tail domain. A putative calmodulin-binding domain resides at the extreme carboxy terminus of the motor polypeptide, and recombinant kinesin-C binds to a calmodulin-affinity column in a Ca(2+)-dependent fashion. The presence of this novel calmodulin-binding motor in sea urchin embryos suggests that it plays a critical role in Ca(2+)-dependent events during early sea urchin development.<br /><br />
The Bim C Family Of Kinesins: Essential Bipolar Mitotic Motors Driving Centrosome Separation. Source: Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
September 2nd, 1997 PMID: 9268050 Gregory Rogers
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