Combining mitotic cell synchronization and high resolution confocal microscopy to study the role of multifunctional cell cycle proteins during mitosis

Mohammed A. Amin, Dileep Varma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study of the various regulatory events of the cell cycle in a phase-dependent manner provides a clear understanding about cell growth and division. The synchronization of cell populations at specific stages of the cell cycle has been found to be very useful in such experimental endeavors. Synchronization of cells by treatment with chemicals that are relatively less toxic can be advantageous over the use of pharmacological inhibitory drugs for the study of consequent cell cycle events and to obtain specific enrichment of selected mitotic stages. Here, we describe the protocol for synchronizing human cells at different stages of the cell cycle, including both in S phase and M phase with a double thymidine block and release procedure for studying the functionality of mitotic proteins in chromosome alignment and segregation. This protocol has been extremely useful for studying the mitotic roles of multifunctional proteins which possess established interphase functions. In our case, the mitotic role of Cdt1, a protein critical for replication origin licensing in G1 phase, can be studied effectively only when G2/M-specific Cdt1 can be depleted. We describe the detailed protocol for depletion of G2/M-specific Cdt1 using double thymidine synchronization. We also explain the protocol of cell fixation, and live cell imaging using high resolution confocal microscopy after thymidine release. The method is also useful for analyzing the function of mitotic proteins under both physiological and perturbed conditions such as for Hec1, a component of the Ndc80 complex, as it enables one to obtain large sample sizes of mitotic cells for fixed and live cell analysis as we show here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56513
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Volume2017
Issue number130
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2017

Keywords

  • Cdt1
  • Cell cycle
  • Cellular biology
  • Hec1
  • Issue 130
  • Kinetochores
  • Live-cell imaging
  • Microscopy
  • Mitosis
  • Mitotic spindle
  • Synchronization
  • Thymidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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