A degron-based strategy reveals new insights into Aurora B function in C. elegans

Nikita S. Divekar, Amanda C. Davis-Roca, Liangyu Zhang, Abby F. Dernburg, Sarah M. Wignall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The widely conserved kinase Aurora B regulates important events during cell division. Surprisingly, recent work has uncovered a few functions of Aurora-family kinases that do not require kinase activity. Thus, understanding this important class of cell cycle regulators will require strategies to distinguish kinase-dependent from independent functions. Here, we address this need in C. elegans by combining germline-specific, auxin-induced Aurora B (AIR-2) degradation with the transgenic expression of kinase-inactive AIR-2. Through this approach, we find that kinase activity is essential for AIR-2’s major meiotic functions and also for mitotic chromosome segregation. Moreover, our analysis revealed insight into the assembly of the ring complex (RC), a structure that is essential for chromosome congression in C. elegans oocytes. AIR-2 localizes to chromosomes and recruits other components to form the RC. However, we found that while kinase-dead AIR-2 could load onto chromosomes, other components were not recruited. This failure in RC assembly appeared to be due to a loss of RC SUMOylation, suggesting that there is crosstalk between SUMOylation and phosphorylation in building the RC and implicating AIR-2 in regulating the SUMO pathway in oocytes. Similar conditional depletion approaches may reveal new insights into other cell cycle regulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009567
JournalPLoS genetics
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A degron-based strategy reveals new insights into Aurora B function in C. elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this