Cytoskeletal Architecture and Cell Morphogenesis

Key Team Publications

Year of publication 2017

Ishutesh Jain, Phong T Tran (2017 Jun 8)

Multiple Motifs Compete for EB-Dependent Microtubule Plus End Binding.

Structure (London, England : 1993) : 821-822 : DOI : S0969-2126(17)30151-X Learn more

Microtubule (MT) dynamics are regulated by a plethora of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). An important MT regulator is the end binding protein EB, which serves as a scaffold to recruit other MAPs to MT plus ends. In this issue of Structure, Kumar et al. (2017) describe LxxPTPh, a new linear sequence motif that can bind EBs. The finding opens up the possibility of discovering new MT regulators.

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Sergio A Rincon, Adam Lamson, Robert Blackwell, Viktoriya Syrovatkina, Vincent Fraisier, Anne Paoletti, Meredith D Betterton, Phong T Tran (2017 May 18)

Kinesin-5-independent mitotic spindle assembly requires the antiparallel microtubule crosslinker Ase1 in fission yeast.

Nature communications : 15286 : DOI : 10.1038/ncomms15286 Learn more

Bipolar spindle assembly requires a balance of forces where kinesin-5 produces outward pushing forces to antagonize the inward pulling forces from kinesin-14 or dynein. Accordingly, Kinesin-5 inactivation results in force imbalance leading to monopolar spindle and chromosome segregation failure. In fission yeast, force balance is restored when both kinesin-5 Cut7 and kinesin-14 Pkl1 are deleted, restoring spindle bipolarity. Here we show that the cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle is fully competent for chromosome segregation independently of motor activity, except for kinesin-6 Klp9, which is required for anaphase spindle elongation. We demonstrate that cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle bipolarity requires the microtubule antiparallel bundler PRC1/Ase1 to recruit CLASP/Cls1 to stabilize microtubules. Brownian dynamics-kinetic Monte Carlo simulations show that Ase1 and Cls1 activity are sufficient for initial bipolar spindle formation. We conclude that pushing forces generated by microtubule polymerization are sufficient to promote spindle pole separation and the assembly of bipolar spindle in the absence of molecular motors.

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Sergio A Rincon, Miguel Estravis, Florent Dingli, Damarys Loew, Phong T Tran, Anne Paoletti (2017 Feb 7)

SIN-Dependent Dissociation of the SAD Kinase Cdr2 from the Cell Cortex Resets the Division Plane.

Current biology : CB : 534-542 : DOI : S0960-9822(16)31532-9 Learn more

Proper division plane positioning is crucial for faithful chromosome segregation but also influences cell size, position, or fate [1]. In fission yeast, medial division is controlled through negative signaling by the cell tips during interphase and positive signaling by the centrally placed nucleus at mitotic entry [2-4]: the cell geometry network (CGN), controlled by the inhibitory cortical gradient of the DYRK kinase Pom1 emanating from the cell tips, first promotes the medial localization of cytokinetic ring precursors organized by the SAD kinase Cdr2 to pre-define the division plane [5-8]; then, massive nuclear export of the anillin-like protein Mid1 at mitosis entry confirms or readjusts the division plane according to nuclear position and triggers the assembly of a medial contractile ring [5, 9-11]. Strikingly, the Hippo-like septation initiation network (SIN) induces Cdr2 dissociation from cytokinetic precursors at this stage [12-14]. We show here that SIN-dependent phosphorylation of Cdr2 promotes its interaction with the 14-3-3 protein Rad24 that sequesters it in the cytoplasm during cell division. If this interaction is compromised, cytokinetic precursors are asymmetrically distributed in the cortex of newborn cells, leading to asymmetrical division if nuclear signaling is abolished. We conclude that, through this new function, the SIN resets the division plane in newborn cells to ensure medial division.

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Year of publication 2016

Sergio A Rincon, Anne Paoletti (2016 Jan 26)

Molecular control of fission yeast cytokinesis.

Seminars in cell & developmental biology : 28-38 : DOI : 10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.01.007 Learn more

Cytokinesis gives rise to two independent daughter cells at the end of the cell division cycle. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has emerged as one of the most powerful systems to understand how cytokinesis is controlled molecularly. Like in most eukaryotes, fission yeast cytokinesis depends on an acto-myosin based contractile ring that assembles at the division site under the control of spatial cues that integrate information on cell geometry and the position of the mitotic apparatus. Cytokinetic events are also tightly coordinated with nuclear division by the cell cycle machinery. These spatial and temporal regulations ensure an equal cleavage of the cytoplasm and an accurate segregation of the genetic material in daughter cells. Although this model system has specificities, the basic mechanisms of contractile ring assembly and function deciphered in fission yeast are highly valuable to understand how cytokinesis is controlled in other organisms that rely on a contractile ring for cell division.

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