Assembly pathway of the anastral Drosophila oocyte meiosis I spindle.

Published

Journal Article

Oocyte meiotic spindles of many species are anastral and lack centrosomes to nucleate microtubules. Assembly of anastral spindles occurs by a pathway that differs from that of most mitotic spindles. Here we analyze assembly of the Drosophila oocyte meiosis I spindle and the role of the Nonclaret disjunctional (Ncd) motor in spindle assembly using wild-type and mutant Ncd fused to GFP. Unexpectedly, we observe motor-associated asters at germinal vesicle breakdown that migrate towards the condensed chromosomes, where they nucleate microtubules at the chromosomes. Newly nucleated microtubules are randomly oriented, then become organized around the bivalent chromosomes. We show that the meiotic spindle forms by lateral associations of microtubule-coated chromosomes into a bipolar spindle. Lateral interactions between microtubule-associated bivalent chromosomes may be mediated by microtubule crosslinking by the Ncd motor, based on analysis of fixed oocytes. We report here that spindle assembly occurs in an ncd mutant defective for microtubule motility, but lateral interactions between microtubule-coated chromosomes are unstable, indicating that Ncd movement along microtubules is needed to stabilize interactions between chromosomes. A more severe ncd mutant that probably lacks ATPase activity prevents formation of lateral interactions between chromosomes and causes defective microtubule elongation. Anastral Drosophila oocyte meiosis I spindle assembly thus involves motor-associated asters to nucleate microtubules and Ncd motor activity to form and stabilize interactions between microtubule-associated chromosomes during the assembly process. This is the first complete account of assembly of an anastral spindle and the specific steps that require Ncd motor activity, revealing new and unexpected features of the process.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sköld, HN; Komma, DJ; Endow, SA

Published Date

  • April 15, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 118 / Pt 8

Start / End Page

  • 1745 - 1755

PubMed ID

  • 15797926

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15797926

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9533

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1242/jcs.02304

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • England