Spindle assembly and chromosome segregation requires central spindle proteins in Drosophila oocytes

Arunika Das, Shital J. Shah, Bensen Fan, Daniel Paik, Daniel J. DiSanto, Anna Maria Hinman, Jeffry M. Cesario, Rachel A. Battaglia, Nicole Demos, Kim S. McKim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Oocytes segregate chromosomes in the absence of centrosomes. In this situation, the chromosomes direct spindle assembly. It is still unclear in this system which factors are required for homologous chromosome bi-orientation and spindle assembly. The Drosophila kinesin-6 protein Subito, although nonessential for mitotic spindle assembly, is required to organize a bipolar meiotic spindle and chromosome bi-orientation in oocytes. Along with the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), Subito is an important part of the metaphase I central spindle. In this study we have conducted genetic screens to identify genes that interact with subito or the CPC component Incenp. In addition, the meiotic mutant phenotype for some of the genes identified in these screens were characterized. We show, in part through the use of a heat-shock-inducible system, that the Centralspindlin component RacGAP50C and downstream regulators of cytokinesis Rho1, Sticky, and RhoGEF2 are required for homologous chromosome bi-orientation in metaphase I oocytes. This suggests a novel function for proteins normally involved in mitotic cell division in the regulation of microtubule- chromosome interactions. We also show that the kinetochore protein, Polo kinase, is required for maintaining chromosome alignment and spindle organization in metaphase I oocytes. In combination our results support a model where the meiotic central spindle and associated proteins are essential for acentrosomal chromosome segregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


  • Chromosome segregation
  • Drosophila
  • Homolog bi-orientation
  • Meiosis
  • Spindle
  • Synthetic lethal mutation


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