Piskadlo, Ewa; Oliveira, Raquel A.
The fidelity of mitosis is essential for life, and successful completion of this process relies on drastic changes in chromosome organization at the onset of nuclear division. The mechanisms that govern chromosome compaction at every cell division cycle are still far from full comprehension, yet recent studies provide novel insights into this problem, challenging classical views on mitotic chromosome assembly. Here, we briefly introduce various models for chromosome assembly and known factors involved in the condensation process (e.g. condensin complexes and topoisomerase II). We will then focus on a few selected studies that have recently brought novel insights into the...
Oliveira, Raquel A.; Nasmyth, Kim
Medical Research Council; Wellcome Trust; European Research Council.
Zhang, Tongli; Oliveira, Raquel A.; Schmierer, Bernhard; Novák, Béla
Chromosome bi-orientation at the metaphase spindle is essential for precise segregation of the genetic material. The process is error-prone, and error-correction mechanisms exist to switch misaligned chromosomes to the correct, bi-oriented configuration. Here, we analyze several possible dynamical scenarios to explore how cells might achieve correct bi-orientation in an efficient and robust manner. We first illustrate that tension-mediated feedback between the sister kinetochores can give rise to a bistable switch, which allows robust distinction between a loose attachment with low tension and a strong attachment with high tension. However, this mechanism has difficulties in explaining how bi-orientation is initiated starting...
Eichinger, Christian S; Kurze, Alexander; Oliveira, Raquel A; Nasmyth, Kim
Cohesin's Smc1, Smc3, and kleisin subunits create a tripartite ring within which sister DNAs are entrapped. Evidence suggests that DNA enters through a gate created by transient dissociation of the Smc1/3 interface. Release at the onset of anaphase is triggered by proteolytic cleavage of kleisin. Less well understood is the mechanism of release at other stages of the cell cycle, in particular during prophase when most cohesin dissociates from chromosome arms in a process dependent on the regulatory subunit Wapl. We show here that Wapl-dependent release from salivary gland polytene chromosomes during interphase and from neuroblast chromosome arms during prophase...
Thompson, Jessica Ann; Oliveira, Rita Almeida; Djukovic, Ana; Ubeda, Carles; Xavier, Karina Bivar
The mammalian gut microbiota harbors a diverse ecosystem where hundreds of bacterial species interact with each other and their host. Given that bacteria use signals to communicate and regulate group behaviors (quorum sensing), we asked whether such communication between different commensal species can influence the interactions occurring in this environment. We engineered the enteric bacterium, Escherichia coli, to manipulate the levels of the interspecies quorum sensing signal, autoinducer-2 (AI-2), in the mouse intestine and investigated the effect upon antibiotic-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis. E. coli that increased intestinal AI-2 levels altered the composition of the antibiotic-treated gut microbiota, favoring the expansion...
Mirkovic, Mihailo; Hutter, Lukas H.; Novák, Béla; Oliveira, Raquel A.
Sister chromatid cohesion, mediated by the cohesin complex, is essential for faithful mitosis. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that the surveillance mechanism that governs mitotic fidelity, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), is not robust enough to halt cell division when cohesion loss occurs prematurely. The mechanism behind this poor response is not properly understood. Using developing Drosophila brains, we show that full sister chromatid separation elicits a weak checkpoint response resulting in abnormal mitotic exit after a short delay. Quantitative live-cell imaging approaches combined with mathematical modeling indicate that weak SAC activation upon cohesion loss is caused by weak signal generation. This is...