Traveling waves play an essential role in coordinating mitosis over large distances, but what determines the spatial origin of mitotic waves remains unclear. Here, we show that such waves initiate at pacemakers, regions which oscillate faster than their surroundings. In cell-free extracts of Xenopus laevis eggs, we find that nuclei define such pacemakers by concentrating cell cycle regulators. In computational models of diffusively coupled oscillators that account for nuclear import, nuclear positioning determines the pacemaker location. Furthermore, we find that the spatial dimensions of the oscillatory medium change the nuclear positioning and strongly influence whether a pacemaker is more likely to be at a boundary or an internal region. Finally, we confirm experimentally that increasing the system width increases the proportion of pacemakers at the boundary. Our work provides insight into how nuclei and spatial system dimensions can control local concentrations of regulators, influencing the emergent behavior of mitotic waves.
All the data generated during the study are summarized and provided in the manuscript and supporting files. Source files have been provided for Figure 1, Figure 1-Figure Supplement 3, Figure 2, Figure 5-Figure Supplement 1, Box 2, Video 1 and Video 2 in the format of microscopy videos. Additionally, representative microscopy videos of all different conditions are provided as a Zenodo dataset (http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3736728). The numerical codes that were used, together with an overview table of the performed experiments, are available through GitHub (Nolet, 2020).
- Lendert Gelens
- Lendert Gelens
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the KU Leuven. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols of the KU Leuven. The protocol was approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of the KU Leuven (ECD permit Number: P165/2016 ).
- Stefano Di Talia, Duke University, United States
© 2020, Nolet et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
How cells control gene expression is a fundamental question. The relative contribution of protein-level and RNA-level regulation to this process remains unclear. Here, we perform a proteogenomic analysis of tumors and untransformed cells containing somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs). By revealing how cells regulate RNA and protein abundances of genes with SCNAs, we provide insights into the rules of gene regulation. Protein complex genes have a strong protein-level regulation while non-complex genes have a strong RNA-level regulation. Notable exceptions are plasma membrane protein complex genes, which show a weak protein-level regulation and a stronger RNA-level regulation. Strikingly, we find a strong negative association between the degree of RNA-level and protein-level regulation across genes and cellular pathways. Moreover, genes participating in the same pathway show a similar degree of RNA- and protein-level regulation. Pathways including translation, splicing, RNA processing, and mitochondrial function show a stronger protein-level regulation while cell adhesion and migration pathways show a stronger RNA-level regulation. These results suggest that the evolution of gene regulation is shaped by functional constraints and that many cellular pathways tend to evolve one predominant mechanism of gene regulation at the protein level or at the RNA level.
Synaptic communication relies on the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, which leads to neurotransmitter release. This exocytosis is triggered by brief and local elevations of intracellular Ca2+ with remarkably high sensitivity. How this is molecularly achieved is unknown. While synaptotagmins confer the Ca2+ sensitivity of neurotransmitter exocytosis, biochemical measurements reported Ca2+ affinities too low to account for synaptic function. However, synaptotagmin’s Ca2+ affinity increases upon binding the plasma membrane phospholipid PI(4,5)P2 and, vice versa, Ca2+ binding increases synaptotagmin’s PI(4,5)P2 affinity, indicating a stabilization of the Ca2+/PI(4,5)P2 dual-bound state. Here, we devise a molecular exocytosis model based on this positive allosteric stabilization and the assumptions that (1.) synaptotagmin Ca2+/PI(4,5)P2 dual binding lowers the energy barrier for vesicle fusion and that (2.) the effect of multiple synaptotagmins on the energy barrier is additive. The model, which relies on biochemically measured Ca2+/PI(4,5)P2 affinities and protein copy numbers, reproduced the steep Ca2+ dependency of neurotransmitter release. Our results indicate that each synaptotagmin engaging in Ca2+/PI(4,5)P2 dual-binding lowers the energy barrier for vesicle fusion by ~5 kBT and that allosteric stabilization of this state enables the synchronized engagement of several (typically three) synaptotagmins for fast exocytosis. Furthermore, we show that mutations altering synaptotagmin’s allosteric properties may show dominant-negative effects, even though synaptotagmins act independently on the energy barrier, and that dynamic changes of local PI(4,5)P2 (e.g. upon vesicle movement) dramatically impact synaptic responses. We conclude that allosterically stabilized Ca2+/PI(4,5)P2 dual binding enables synaptotagmins to exert their coordinated function in neurotransmission.