GDCB Seminar: 'Investigation and manipulation of tension as a mechanical signal during cell division'

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 4:10pm
Event Type: 

Melissa Gardner

Speaker — Melissa Gardner, Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota

Title — Investigation and manipulation of tension as a mechanical signal during cell division

Abstract —  During mitosis, motor proteins associate with microtubules to exert pushing forces that establish a mitotic spindle. These pushing forces generate opposing tension in the chromatin that connects oppositely attached sister chromatids, which may then act as a mechanical signal to ensure the fidelity of chromosome segregation during mitosis. However, the role of tension in mitotic cellular signaling remains controversial. In this study, we generated a gradient in tension over multiple isogenic budding yeast cell lines by genetically altering the magnitude of motor-based spindle forces. We found that a decreasing gradient in tension led to an increasing gradient in the rates of kinetochore detachment and anaphase chromosome mis-segregration, and in metaphase time. Simulations and experiments indicated that these tension responses originate from a tension-dependent kinetochore phosphorylation gradient. We conclude that the cell is exquisitely tuned to the magnitude of tension as a signal to detect potential chromosome segregation errors during mitosis.

Host — Moe Gupta