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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 28;10(4):e0125382. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125382. eCollection 2015.

Separase Cleaves the N-Tail of the CENP-A Related Protein CPAR-1 at the Meiosis I Metaphase-Anaphase Transition in C. elegans.

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1
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research & Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Centromeres are defined epigenetically in the majority of eukaryotes by the presence of chromatin containing the centromeric histone H3 variant CENP-A. Most species have a single gene encoding a centromeric histone variant whereas C. elegans has two: HCP-3 (also known as CeCENP-A) and CPAR-1. Prior RNAi replacement experiments showed that HCP-3 is the functionally dominant isoform, consistent with CPAR-1 not being detectable in embryos. GFP::CPAR-1 is loaded onto meiotic chromosomes in diakinesis and is enriched on bivalents until meiosis I. Here we show that GFP::CPAR-1 signal loss from chromosomes precisely coincides with homolog segregation during anaphase I. This loss of GFP::CPAR-1 signal reflects proteolytic cleavage between GFP and the histone fold of CPAR-1, as CPAR-1::GFP, in which GFP is fused to the C-terminus of CPAR-1, does not exhibit any loss of GFP signal. A focused candidate screen implicated separase, the protease that initiates anaphase by cleaving the kleisin subunit of cohesin, in this cleavage reaction. Examination of the N-terminal tail sequence of CPAR-1 revealed a putative separase cleavage site and mutation of the signature residues in this site eliminated the cleavage reaction, as visualized by retention of GFP::CPAR-1 signal on separating homologous chromosomes at the metaphase-anaphase transition of meiosis I. Neither cleaved nor uncleavable CPAR-1 were centromere-localized in mitosis and instead localized throughout chromatin, indicating that centromere activity has not been retained in CPAR-1. Although the functions of CPAR-1 and of its separase-dependent cleavage remain to be elucidated, this effort reveals a new substrate of separase and provides an in vivo biosensor to monitor separase activity at the onset of meiosis I anaphase.

PMID:
25919583
PMCID:
PMC4412405
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0125382
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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