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Cell Cycle July 15, 2012; 11 (14): 2672-80.

Aurora B regulates spindle bipolarity in meiosis in vertebrate oocytes.

Shao H , Ma C , Zhang X , Li R , Miller AL , Bement WM , Liu XJ .

Aurora B (Aur-B) plays multiple roles in mitosis, of which the best known are to ensure bi-orientation of sister chromatids by destabilizing incorrectly attached kinetochore microtubules and to participate in cytokinesis. Studies in Xenopus egg extracts, however, have indicated that Aur-B and the chromosome passenger complex play an important role in stabilizing chromosome-associated spindle microtubules. Aur-B stabilizes spindle microtubules in the egg extracts by inhibiting the catastrophe kinesin MCAK. Whether or not Aur-B plays a similar role in intact oocytes remains unknown. Here we have employed a dominant-negative Aur-B mutant (Aur-B122R, in which the ATP-binding lysine(122) is replaced with arginine) to investigate the function of Aur-B in spindle assembly in Xenopus oocytes undergoing meiosis. Overexpression of Aur-B122R results in short bipolar spindles or monopolar spindles, with higher concentrations of Aur-B122R producing mostly the latter. Simultaneous inhibition of MCAK translation in oocytes overexpressing Aur-B122R results in suppression of monopolar phenotype, suggesting that Aur-B regulates spindle bipolarity by inhibiting MCAK. Furthermore, recombinant MCAK-4A protein, which lacks all four Aur-B phosphoryaltion sites and is therefore insensitive to Aur-B inhibition but not wild-type MCAK, recapitulated the monopolar phenotype in the oocytes. These results suggest that in vertebrate oocytes that lack centrosomes, one major function of Aur-B is to stabilize chromosome-associated spindle microtubules to ensure spindle bipolarity.

PubMed ID: 22751439
PMC ID: PMC3409009
Article link: Cell Cycle
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: aurkb kif2c

References [+] :
Andrews, Aurora B regulates MCAK at the mitotic centromere. 2004, Pubmed

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