While centrosomes organize spindle poles during mitosis, oocyte meiosis can occur in their absence. Spindles in human oocytes frequently fail to maintain bipolarity and consequently undergo chromosome segregation errors, making it important to understand mechanisms that promote acentrosomal spindle stability. To this end, we have optimized the auxin-inducible degron system in C. elegans to remove factors from pre-formed oocyte spindles within minutes and assess effects on spindle structure. This approach revealed that dynein is required to maintain the integrity of acentrosomal poles; removal of dynein from bipolar spindles caused pole splaying, and when coupled with a monopolar spindle induced by depletion of the kinesin-12 motor KLP-18, dynein depletion led to a complete dissolution of the monopole. Surprisingly, we went on to discover that following monopole disruption, individual chromosomes were able to reorganize local microtubules and re-establish a miniature bipolar spindle that mediated chromosome segregation. This revealed the existence of redundant microtubule sorting forces that are undetectable when KLP-18 and dynein are active. We found that the kinesin-5 family motor BMK-1 provides this force, uncovering the first evidence that kinesin-5 contributes to C. elegans meiotic spindle organization. Altogether, our studies have revealed how multiple motors are working synchronously to establish and maintain bipolarity in the absence of centrosomes.
All data generated or analyzed in this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figure 2B, Figure 2 - figure supplement 1, Figure 2 - figure supplement 2, and Figure 4C.
- Sarah Marie Wignall
- Gabriel Cavin-Meza
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Federico Pelisch, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
© 2022, Cavin-Meza 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.
Activating mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) cause Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 phosphorylates a subset of Rab GTPases, particularly Rab10 and Rab8A, and we showed previously that these phosphoRabs play an important role in LRRK2 membrane recruitment and activation (Vides et al., 2022). To learn more about LRRK2 pathway regulation, we carried out an unbiased, CRISPR-based genome-wide screen to identify modifiers of cellular phosphoRab10 levels. A flow cytometry assay was developed to detect changes in phosphoRab10 levels in pools of mouse NIH-3T3 cells harboring unique CRISPR guide sequences. Multiple negative and positive regulators were identified; surprisingly, knockout of the Rab12 gene was especially effective in decreasing phosphoRab10 levels in multiple cell types and knockout mouse tissues. Rab-driven increases in phosphoRab10 were specific for Rab12, LRRK2-dependent and PPM1H phosphatase-reversible, and did not require Rab12 phosphorylation; they were seen with wild type and pathogenic G2019S and R1441C LRRK2. As expected for a protein that regulates LRRK2 activity, Rab12 also influenced primary cilia formation. AlphaFold modeling revealed a novel Rab12 binding site in the LRRK2 Armadillo domain, and we show that residues predicted to be essential for Rab12 interaction at this site influence phosphoRab10 and phosphoRab12 levels in a manner distinct from Rab29 activation of LRRK2. Our data show that Rab12 binding to a new site in the LRRK2 Armadillo domain activates LRRK2 kinase for Rab phosphorylation and could serve as a new therapeutic target for a novel class of LRRK2 inhibitors that do not target the kinase domain.
The MRTF–SRF pathway has been extensively studied for its crucial role in driving the expression of a large number of genes involved in actin cytoskeleton of various cell types. However, the specific contribution of MRTF–SRF in hair cells remains unknown. In this study, we showed that hair cell-specific deletion of Srf or Mrtfb, but not Mrtfa, leads to similar defects in the development of stereocilia dimensions and the maintenance of cuticular plate integrity. We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based hair cell RNA-Seq analysis to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of the changes observed in Srf and Mrtfb mutants, respectively. Interestingly, the transcriptome analysis revealed distinct profiles of genes regulated by Srf and Mrtfb, suggesting different transcriptional regulation mechanisms of actin cytoskeleton activities mediated by Srf and Mrtfb. Exogenous delivery of calponin 2 using Adeno-associated virus transduction in Srf mutants partially rescued the impairments of stereocilia dimensions and the F-actin intensity of cuticular plate, suggesting the involvement of Cnn2, as an Srf downstream target, in regulating the hair bundle morphology and cuticular plate actin cytoskeleton organization. Our study uncovers, for the first time, the unexpected differential transcriptional regulation of actin cytoskeleton mediated by Srf and Mrtfb in hair cells, and also demonstrates the critical role of SRF–CNN2 in modulating actin dynamics of the stereocilia and cuticular plate, providing new insights into the molecular mechanism underlying hair cell development and maintenance.