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(1/2093) Mutations at phosphorylation sites of Xenopus microtubule-associated protein 4 affect its microtubule-binding ability and chromosome movement during mitosis.

Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) bind to and stabilize microtubules (MTs) both in vitro and in vivo and are thought to regulate MT dynamics during the cell cycle. It is known that p220, a major MAP of Xenopus, is phosphorylated by p34(cdc2) kinase as well as MAP kinase in mitotic cells, and that the phosphorylated p220 loses its MT-binding and -stabilizing abilities in vitro. We cloned a full-length cDNA encoding p220, which identified p220 as a Xenopus homologue of MAP4 (XMAP4). To examine the physiological relevance of XMAP4 phosphorylation in vivo, Xenopus A6 cells were transfected with cDNAs encoding wild-type or various XMAP4 mutants fused with a green fluorescent protein. Mutations of serine and threonine residues at p34(cdc2) kinase-specific phosphorylation sites to alanine interfered with mitosis-associated reduction in MT affinity of XMAP4, and their overexpression affected chromosome movement during anaphase A. These findings indicated that phosphorylation of XMAP4 (probably by p34(cdc2) kinase) is responsible for the decrease in its MT-binding and -stabilizing abilities during mitosis, which are important for chromosome movement during anaphase A.  (+info)

(2/2093) Gene knockouts reveal separate functions for two cytoplasmic dyneins in Tetrahymena thermophila.

In many organisms, there are multiple isoforms of cytoplasmic dynein heavy chains, and division of labor among the isoforms would provide a mechanism to regulate dynein function. The targeted disruption of somatic genes in Tetrahymena thermophila presents the opportunity to determine the contributions of individual dynein isoforms in a single cell that expresses multiple dynein heavy chain genes. Substantial portions of two Tetrahymena cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain genes were cloned, and their motor domains were sequenced. Tetrahymena DYH1 encodes the ubiquitous cytoplasmic dynein Dyh1, and DYH2 encodes a second cytoplasmic dynein isoform, Dyh2. The disruption of DYH1, but not DYH2, resulted in cells with two detectable defects: 1) phagocytic activity was inhibited, and 2) the cells failed to distribute their chromosomes correctly during micronuclear mitosis. In contrast, the disruption of DYH2 resulted in a loss of regulation of cell size and cell shape and in the apparent inability of the cells to repair their cortical cytoskeletons. We conclude that the two dyneins perform separate tasks in Tetrahymena.  (+info)

(3/2093) Regulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinetochores by the type 1 phosphatase Glc7p.

We have investigated the role of protein phosphorylation in regulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinetochores. By use of phosphatase inhibitors and a type 1 protein phosphatase mutant (glc7-10), we show that the microtubule binding activity, but not the centromeric DNA-binding activity, of the kinetochore complex is regulated by a balance between a protein kinase and the type 1 protein phosphatase (PP1) encoded by the GLC7 gene. glc7-10 mutant cells exhibit low kinetochore-microtubule binding activity in vitro and a high frequency of chromosome loss in vivo. Specifically, the Ndc10p component of the centromere DNA-binding CBF3 complex is altered by the glc7-10 mutation; Ndc10p is hyperphosphorylated in glc7-10 extracts. Furthermore, addition of recombinant Ndc10p reconstitutes the microtubule-binding activity of a glc7-10 extract to wild-type levels. Finally, the glc7-10-induced mitotic arrest is abolished in spindle checkpoint mutants, suggesting that defects in kinetochore-microtubule interactions caused by hyperphosphorylation of kinetochore proteins activate the spindle checkpoint.  (+info)

(4/2093) Genetic linkage of IgA deficiency to the major histocompatibility complex: evidence for allele segregation distortion, parent-of-origin penetrance differences, and the role of anti-IgA antibodies in disease predisposition.

Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency (IgAD) is characterized by a defect of terminal lymphocyte differentiation, leading to a lack of IgA in serum and mucosal secretions. Familial clustering, variable population prevalence in different ethnic groups, and a predominant inheritance pattern suggest a strong genetic predisposition to IgAD. The genetic susceptibility to IgAD is shared with a less prevalent, but more profound, defect called "common variable immunodeficiency" (CVID). Here we show an increased allele sharing at 6p21 in affected members of 83 multiplex IgAD/CVID pedigrees and demonstrate, using transmission/diseqilibrium tests, family-based associations indicating the presence of a predisposing locus, designated "IGAD1," in the proximal part of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The recurrence risk of IgAD was found to depend on the sex of parents transmitting the defect: affected mothers were more likely to produce offspring with IgAD than were affected fathers. Carrier mothers but not carrier fathers transmitted IGAD1 alleles more frequently to the affected offspring than would be expected under random segregation. The differential parent-of-origin penetrance is proposed to reflect a maternal effect mediated by the production of anti-IgA antibodies tentatively linked to IGAD1. This is supported by higher frequency of anti-IgA-positive females transmitting the disorder to children, in comparison with female IgAD nontransmitters, and by linkage data in the former group. Such pathogenic mechanisms may be shared by other MHC-linked complex traits associated with the production of specific autoantibodies, parental effects, and a particular MHC haplotype.  (+info)

(5/2093) Comparisons of genomic structures and chromosomal locations of the mouse aldose reductase and aldose reductase-like genes.

Aldose reductase (AR), best known as the first enzyme in the polyol pathway of sugar metabolism, has been implicated in a wide variety of physiological functions and in the etiology of diabetic complications. We have determined the structures and chromosomal locations of the mouse AR gene (Aldor1) and of two genes highly homologous to Aldor1: the fibroblast growth factor regulated protein gene (Fgfrp) and the androgen regulated vas deferens protein gene (Avdp). The number of introns and their locations in the mouse Aldor1 gene are identical to those of rat and human AR genes and also to those of Fgfrp and Avdp. Mouse Aldor1 gene was found to be located near the Cald1 (Caldesmon) and Ptn (Pleiotropin) loci at the proximal end of chromosome 6. The closely related genes Fgfrp and Avdp were also mapped in this region of the chromosome, suggesting that these three genes may have arisen by a gene duplication event.  (+info)

(6/2093) Transchromosomal mouse embryonic stem cell lines and chimeric mice that contain freely segregating segments of human chromosome 21.

At least 8% of all human conceptions have major chromosome abnormalities and the frequency of chromosomal syndromes in newborns is >0.5%. Despite these disorders making a large contribution to human morbidity and mortality, we have little understanding of their aetiology and little molecular data on the importance of gene dosage to mammalian cells. Trisomy 21, which results in Down syndrome (DS), is the most frequent aneuploidy in humans (1 in 600 live births, up to 1 in 150 pregnancies world-wide) and is the most common known genetic cause of mental retardation. To investigate the molecular genetics of DS, we report here the creation of mice that carry different human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) fragments as a freely segregating extra chromosome. To produce these 'transchromosomal' animals, we placed a selectable marker into Hsa21 and transferred the chromosome from a human somatic cell line into mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells using irradiation microcell-mediated chromosome transfer (XMMCT). 'Transchromosomal' ES cells containing different Hsa21 regions ranging in size from approximately 50 to approximately 0.2 Mb have been used to create chimeric mice. These mice maintain Hsa21 sequences and express Hsa21 genes in multiple tissues. This novel use of the XMMCT protocol is applicable to investigations requiring the transfer of large chromosomal regions into ES or other cells and, in particular, the modelling of DS and other human aneuploidy syndromes.  (+info)

(7/2093) Centrosome amplification and a defective G2-M cell cycle checkpoint induce genetic instability in BRCA1 exon 11 isoform-deficient cells.

Germline mutations of the Brca1 tumor suppressor gene predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers. To study mechanisms underlying BRCA1-related tumorigenesis, we derived mouse embryonic fibroblast cells carrying a targeted deletion of exon 11 of the Brca1 gene. We show that the mutant cells maintain an intact G1-S cell cycle checkpoint and proliferate poorly. However, a defective G2-M checkpoint in these cells is accompanied by extensive chromosomal abnormalities. Mutant fibroblasts contain multiple, functional centrosomes, which lead to unequal chromosome segregation, abnormal nuclear division, and aneuploidy. These data uncover an essential role of BRCA1 in maintaining genetic stability through the regulation of centrosome duplication and the G2-M checkpoint and provide a molecular basis for the role of BRCA1 in tumorigenesis.  (+info)

(8/2093) Phosphorylation of histone H3 is required for proper chromosome condensation and segregation.

Phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 occurs during mitosis in diverse eukaryotes and correlates closely with mitotic and meiotic chromosome condensation. To better understand the function of H3 phosphorylation in vivo, we created strains of Tetrahymena in which a mutant H3 gene (S10A) was the only gene encoding the major H3 protein. Although both micronuclei and macronuclei contain H3 in typical nucleosomal structures, defects in nuclear divisions were restricted to mitotically dividing micronuclei; macronuclei, which are amitotic, showed no defects. Strains lacking phosphorylated H3 showed abnormal chromosome segregation, resulting in extensive chromosome loss during mitosis. During meiosis, micronuclei underwent abnormal chromosome condensation and failed to faithfully transmit chromosomes. These results demonstrate that H3 serine 10 phosphorylation is causally linked to chromosome condensation and segregation in vivo and is required for proper chromosome dynamics.  (+info)