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Biol Cell. 1997 Mar;89(1):67-78.

Structural alterations of the mitotic apparatus induced by the heat shock response in Drosophila cells.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire des Invertébrés, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, Paris, France.


The general architecture of the mitotic apparatus was studied at the ultrastructural level in Drosophila cultured cells. Its two main characteristics are a very polarized spindle and a strong compartmentalization, ensured by large remnants of the nuclear envelope. Such compartmentalization has previously been reported for the rapid syncytial divisions of the early embryo; a similar finding in these cells with a long cycle strongly suggests that this organization constitutes a general mechanism for mitosis in Drosophila. We followed the modifications of these structures after a heat shock of 20, 50 or 120 min at 37 degrees C. Contrary to interphase cells, mitotic cells appear very sensitive to hyperthermia. This stress treatment induced a disruption of the mitotic spindle, a reappearance and an extension of the Golgi apparatus, an inactivation of microtubule nucleation and a disorganization of the centrosome. This organelle seems the first to be affected by the heat shock response. The centrosome is not only inactivated, but also is structurally affected. During the recovery phase after heat stress, the mitotic cells presented a remarkable ring-shaped accumulation of electron-dense material around the centrioles. We conclude that in Drosophila cells the mitotic phase, and more specifically the centrosome, are targets of the stress response.

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