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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Asymmetrical segregation of chromosomes with a normal metaphase/anaphase checkpoint in polyploid megakaryocytes.

During differentiation, megakaryocytes increase ploidy through a process called endomitosis, whose mechanisms remain unknown. As it corresponds to abortive mitosis at anaphase and is associated with a multipolar spindle, investigation of chromosome segregation may help to better understand this cell-cycle abnormality. To examine this variation, a new method was developed to combine primed in situ labeling to label centromeres of one chromosome category and immunostaining of tubulin. Human megakaryocytes were obtained from normal bone marrow culture. By confocal microscopy, this study demonstrates an asymmetrical distribution of chromosomes (1 or 7) either between the spindle poles at anaphase stage of endomitosis and between the different lobes of interphase megakaryocyte nuclei. The metaphase/anaphase checkpoint appears normal on the evidence that under nocodazole treatment megakaryocytes progressively accumulate in pseudo-metaphase, without spontaneous escape from this blockage. Immunostaining of p55CDC/hCDC20 with similar kinetochore localization and dynamics as during normal mitosis confirms this result. HCdh1 was also expressed in megakaryocytes, and its main target, cyclin B1, was normally degraded at anaphase, suggesting that the hCdh1-anaphase-promoting complex checkpoint was also functional. This study found the explanation for these unexpected results of an asymmetrical segregation coupled to normal checkpoints by careful analysis of multipolar endomitotic spindles: whereas each aster is connected to more than one other aster, one chromosome may segregate symmetrically between 2 spindle poles and still show asymmetrical segregation when the entire complex spindle is considered.[1]


  1. Asymmetrical segregation of chromosomes with a normal metaphase/anaphase checkpoint in polyploid megakaryocytes. Roy, L., Coullin, P., Vitrat, N., Hellio, R., Debili, N., Weinstein, J., Bernheim, A., Vainchenker, W. Blood (2001) [Pubmed]
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