Mitotically dividing cells use a surveillance mechanism, the spindle assembly checkpoint, that monitors the attachment of spindle microtubules to kinetochores as a means of detecting errors. However, end-on kinetochore attachments have not been observed in Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes and chromosomes instead associate with lateral microtubule bundles; whether errors can be sensed in this context is not known. Here, we show that C. elegans oocytes delay key events in anaphase, including AIR-2/Aurora B relocalization to the microtubules, in response to a variety of meiotic defects, demonstrating that errors can be detected in these cells and revealing a mechanism that regulates anaphase progression. This mechanism does not appear to rely on several components of the spindle assembly checkpoint but does require the kinetochore, as depleting kinetochore components prevents the error-induced anaphase delays. These findings therefore suggest that in this system, kinetochores could be involved in sensing meiotic errors using an unconventional mechanism that does not use canonical end-on attachments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology