Publications by authors named "Katherine Furniss"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Monitoring the DNA Topoisomerase II Checkpoint in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Methods Mol Biol 2018 ;1703:217-240

Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, University of Minnesota, 420 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA.

Topoisomerase II activity is crucial to maintain genome stability through the removal of catenanes in the DNA formed during DNA replication and scaffolding the mitotic chromosome. Perturbed Topo II activity causes defects in chromosome segregation due to persistent catenations and aberrant DNA condensation during mitosis. Recently, novel top2 alleles in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed a checkpoint control which responds to perturbed Topo II activity. Described in this chapter are protocols for assaying the phenotypes seen in top2 mutants on a cell biological basis in live cells: activation of the Topo II checkpoint using spindle morphology, chromosome condensation using fluorescently labeled chromosomal loci and cell cycle progression by flow cytometry. Further characterization of this novel checkpoint is warranted so that we can further our understanding of the cell cycle, genomic stability, and the possibility of identifying novel drug targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7459-7_16DOI Listing
July 2018

Direct monitoring of the strand passage reaction of DNA topoisomerase II triggers checkpoint activation.

PLoS Genet 2013 3;9(10):e1003832. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.

By necessity, the ancient activity of type II topoisomerases co-evolved with the double-helical structure of DNA, at least in organisms with circular genomes. In humans, the strand passage reaction of DNA topoisomerase II (Topo II) is the target of several major classes of cancer drugs which both poison Topo II and activate cell cycle checkpoint controls. It is important to know the cellular effects of molecules that target Topo II, but the mechanisms of checkpoint activation that respond to Topo II dysfunction are not well understood. Here, we provide evidence that a checkpoint mechanism monitors the strand passage reaction of Topo II. In contrast, cells do not become checkpoint arrested in the presence of the aberrant DNA topologies, such as hyper-catenation, that arise in the absence of Topo II activity. An overall reduction in Topo II activity (i.e. slow strand passage cycles) does not activate the checkpoint, but specific defects in the T-segment transit step of the strand passage reaction do induce a cell cycle delay. Furthermore, the cell cycle delay depends on the divergent and catalytically inert C-terminal region of Topo II, indicating that transmission of a checkpoint signal may occur via the C-terminus. Other, well characterized, mitotic checkpoints detect DNA lesions or monitor unattached kinetochores; these defects arise via failures in a variety of cell processes. In contrast, we have described the first example of a distinct category of checkpoint mechanism that monitors the catalytic cycle of a single specific enzyme in order to determine when chromosome segregation can proceed faithfully.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003832DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789831PMC
March 2014

Cohesin is needed for bipolar mitosis in human cells.

Cell Cycle 2010 May 15;9(9):1764-73. Epub 2010 May 15.

Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Multi-polar mitosis is strongly linked with aggressive cancers and it is a histological diagnostic of tumor-grade. However, factors that cause chromosomes to segregate to more than two spindle poles are not well understood. Here we show that cohesins Rad21, Smc1 and Smc3 are required for bipolar mitosis in human cells. After Rad21 depletion, chromosomes align at the metaphase plate and bipolar spindles assemble in most cases, but in anaphase the separated chromatids segregate to multiple poles. Time-lapse microscopy revealed that the spindle poles often become split in Rad21-depleted metaphase cells. Interestingly, exogenous expression of non-cleavable Rad21 results in multi-polar anaphase. Since cohesins are present at the spindle poles in mitosis, these data are consistent with a non-chromosomal function of cohesin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.9.9.11525DOI Listing
May 2010

Rad21 is required for centrosome integrity in human cells independently of its role in chromosome cohesion.

Cell Cycle 2010 May 15;9(9):1774-80. Epub 2010 May 15.

Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Classically, chromosomal functions in DNA repair and sister chromatid association have been assigned to the cohesin proteins. More recent studies have provided evidence that cohesins also localize to the centrosomes, which organize the bipolar spindle during mitosis. Depletion of cohesin proteins is associated with multi-polar mitosis in which spindle pole integrity is compromised. However, the spindle pole defects after cohesin depletion could be an indirect consequence of a chromosomal cohesion defect which might impact centrosome integrity via alterations to the spindle microtubule network. Here we show that the cohesin Rad21 is required for centrosome integrity independently of its role as a chromosomal cohesin. Thus, Rad21 may promote accurate chromosome transmission not only by virtue of its function as a chromosomal cohesin, but also because it is required for centrosome function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.9.9.11524DOI Listing
May 2010

Assaying topoisomerase II checkpoints in yeast.

Methods Mol Biol 2009 ;582:167-87

Department of Genetics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Topoisomerase II activity is crucial to maintain genome stability through the removal of catenanes in the DNA formed during DNA replication and scaffolding the mitotic chromosome. Perturbed Topo II activity causes defects in chromosome segregation due to persistent catenations and aberrant DNA condensation during mitosis. Recently, novel top2 alleles in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed a checkpoint control that responds to perturbed Topo II activity. Described in this chapter are protocols for assaying the phenotypes seen in top2 mutants on a cell biological basis in live cells: activation of the Topo II checkpoint using spindle morphology, chromosome condensation using fluorescently labeled chromosomal loci, and cell cycle progression by flow cytometry. Further characterization of this novel checkpoint is warranted so that we can further our understanding of the cell cycle, genomic stability, and the possibility of identifying novel drug targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-340-4_14DOI Listing
January 2010