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F-actin coordinates spindle morphology and function in Drosophila meiosis.

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Shi, Xingzhu 


Meiosis is a highly conserved feature of sexual reproduction that ensures germ cells have the correct number of chromosomes prior to fertilization. A subset of microtubules, known as the spindle, are essential for accurate chromosome segregation during meiosis. Building evidence in mammalian systems has recently highlighted the unexpected requirement of the actin cytoskeleton in chromosome segregation; a network of spindle actin filaments appear to regulate many aspects of this process. Here we show that Drosophila oocytes also have a spindle population of actin that appears to regulate the formation of the microtubule spindle and chromosomal movements throughout meiosis. We demonstrate that genetic and pharmacological disruption of the actin cytoskeleton has a significant impact on spindle morphology, dynamics, and chromosome alignment and segregation during maturation and the metaphase-anaphase transition. We further reveal a role for calcium in maintaining the microtubule spindle and spindle actin. Together, our data highlights potential conservation of morphology and mechanism of the spindle actin during meiosis.


Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Jens Januschke, Torsten Krude, Jose Casal, and Paul Conduit for discussions and advice; Elise Wilby for detailed feedback on the manuscript; the Zoology Imaging Facility and Matt Wayland for assistance with microscopy; the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center and Drosophila community for fly lines.


Animals, Actins, Drosophila, Spindle Apparatus, Meiosis, Microtubules, Oocytes, Actin Cytoskeleton, Chromosome Segregation, Mammals

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PLoS Genet

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Wellcome Trust (200734/Z/16/Z)
BBSRC (1944029)