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Science, Singapore

Gu Y.,Temasek Life Science Laboratory
Nucleus (Austin, Tex.) | Year: 2012

The aim of mitosis is to produce two daughter nuclei, each containing a chromosome complement identical to that of the mother nucleus. This can be accomplished through a variety of strategies, with "open" and "closed" modes of mitosis positioned at the opposite ends of the spectrum and a range of intermediate patterns in between. In the "closed" mitosis, the nuclear envelope remains intact throughout the nuclear division. In the "open" division type, the envelope of the original nucleus breaks down early in mitosis and reassembles around the segregated daughter genomes. In any case, the nuclear membrane has to remodel to accommodate the mitotic spindle assembly, chromosome segregation and formation of the daughter nuclei. We have recently shown that within the fission yeast clade, the mitotic control of the nuclear surface area may determine the choice between the nuclear envelope breakdown and a fully "closed" division. Here we discuss our data and argue that comparative cell biology studies using two fission yeast species, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, could provide unprecedented insights into physiology and evolution of mitosis.

Dong C.-H.,Qingdao Agricultural University | Hong Y.,Temasek Life Science Laboratory
Plant Cell Reports | Year: 2013

Key message: We found that Arabidopsis AtADF1 was phosphorylated by AtCDPK6 at serine 6 predominantly and the phosphoregulation plays a key role in the regulation of ADF1-mediated depolymerization of actin filaments. Since actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) is highly conserved among eukaryotes, it is one of the key modulators for actin organization. In plants, ADF is directly involved in the depolymerization of actin filaments, and therefore important for F-actin-dependent cellular activities. The activity of ADF is tightly controlled through a number of molecular mechanisms, including phosphorylation-mediated inactivation of ADF. To investigate Arabidopsis ADF1 phosphoregulation, we generated AtADF1 phosphorylation site-specific mutants. Using transient expression and stable transgenic approaches, we analyzed the ADF1 phosphorylation mutants in the regulation of actin filament organizations in plant cells. By in vitro phosphorylation assay, we showed that AtADF1 is phosphorylated by AtCDPK6 at serine 6 predominantly. Chemically induced expression of AtCDPK6 can negatively regulate the wild-type AtADF1 in depolymerizing actin filaments, but not those of the mutants AtADF1(S6A) and AtADF1(S6D). These results demonstrate a regulatory function of Arabidopsis CDPK6 in the N-terminal phosphorylation of AtADF1. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Castagnetti S.,Cancer Research UK | Castagnetti S.,University of Oxford | Oliferenko S.,Temasek Life Science Laboratory | Oliferenko S.,National University of Singapore | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2010

Mitosis in eukaryotic cells employs spindle microtubules to drive accurate chromosome segregation at cell division. Cells lacking spindle microtubules arrest in mitosis due to a spindle checkpoint that delays mitotic progression until all chromosomes have achieved stable bipolar attachment to spindle microtubules. In fission yeast, mitosis occurs within an intact nuclear membrane with the mitotic spindle elongating between the spindle pole bodies. We show here that in fission yeast interference with mitotic spindle formation delays mitosis only briefly and cells proceed to an unusual nuclear division process we term nuclear fission, during which cells perform some chromosome segregation and efficiently enter S-phase of the next cell cycle. Nuclear fission is blocked if spindle pole body maturation or sister chromatid separation cannot take place or if actin polymerization is inhibited. We suggest that this process exhibits vestiges of a primitive nuclear division process independent of spindle microtubules, possibly reflecting an evolutionary intermediate state between bacterial and Archeal chromosome segregation where the nucleoid divides without a spindle and a microtubule spindle-based eukaryotic mitosis. © 2010 Castagnetti et al.

Sarojam R.,University of California at Davis | Sarojam R.,Temasek Life Science Laboratory | Sappl P.G.,Monash University | Goldshmidt A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | And 5 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2010

In seed plants, leaves are born on radial shoots, but unlike shoots, they are determinate dorsiventral organs made of flat lamina. YABBY genes are found only in seed plants and in all cases studied are expressed primarily in lateral organs and in a polar manner. Despite their simple expression, Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking all YABBY gene activities have a wide range of morphological defects in all lateral organs as well as the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Here, we show that leaves lacking all YABBY activities are initiated as dorsiventral appendages but fail to properly activate lamina programs. In particular, the activation of most CINCINNATA-class TCP genes does not commence, SAM-specific programs are reactivated, and a marginal leaf domain is not established. Altered distribution of auxin signaling and the auxin efflux carrier PIN1, highly reduced venation, initiation of multiple cotyledons, and gradual loss of the SAM accompany these defects. We suggest that YABBY functions were recruited to mold modified shoot systems into flat plant appendages by translating organ polarity into lamina-specific programs that include marginal auxin flow and activation of a maturation schedule directing determinate growth. © American Society of Plant Biologists. © 2010 American Society of Plant Biologists.

Ding Y.,Nanyang Technological University | Peng N.,Temasek Life Science Laboratory | Du Y.,Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Singapore | Ji L.,Temasek Life Science Laboratory | Cao B.,Nanyang Technological University
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2014

Although biofilm-based bioprocesses have been increasingly used in various applications, the long-term robust and efficient biofilm performance remains one of the main bottlenecks. In this study, we demonstrated that biofilm cohesiveness and performance of Shewanella oneidensis can be enhanced through disrupting putrescine biosynthesis. Through random transposon mutagenesis library screening, one hyperadherent mutant strain, CP2-1-S1, exhibiting an enhanced capability in biofilm formation, was obtained. Comparative analysis of the performance of biofilms formed by S. oneidensis MR-1 wild type (WT) and CP2-1-S1 in removing dichromate (Cr2O7 2-), i.e., Cr(VI), from the aqueous phase showed that, compared with the WT biofilms, CP2-1-S1 biofilms displayed a substantially lower rate of cell detachment upon exposure to Cr(VI), suggesting a higher cohesiveness of the mutant biofilms. In addition, the amount of Cr(III) immobilized by CP2-1-S1 biofilms was much larger, indicating an enhanced performance in Cr(VI) bioremediation. We further showed that speF, a putrescine biosynthesis gene, was disrupted in CP2-1-S1 and that the biofilm phenotypes could be restored by both genetic and chemical complementations. Our results also demonstrated an important role of putrescine in mediating matrix disassembly in S. oneidensis biofilms. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.

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