Australin: a chromosomal passenger protein required specifically for Drosophila melanogaster male meiosis

Gao, S.; Giansanti, M.G.; Buttrick, G.J.; Ramasubramanyan, S.; Auton, A.; Gatti, M.; Wakefield, J.G.

Journal of Cell Biology 180(3): 521-535


ISSN/ISBN: 1540-8140
PMID: 18268101
DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200708072
Accession: 030227787

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The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), which is composed of conserved proteins aurora B, inner centromere protein (INCENP), survivin, and Borealin/DASRA, localizes to chromatin, kinetochores, microtubules, and the cell cortex in a cell cycle-dependent manner. The CPC is required for multiple aspects of cell division. Here we find that Drosophila melanogaster encodes two Borealin paralogues, Borealin-related (Borr) and Australin (Aust). Although Borr is a passenger in all mitotic tissues studied, it is specifically replaced by Aust for the two male meiotic divisions. We analyzed aust mutant spermatocytes to assess the effects of fully inactivating the Aust-dependent functions of the CPC. Our results indicate that Aust is required for sister chromatid cohesion, recruitment of the CPC to kinetochores, and chromosome alignment and segregation but not for meiotic histone phosphorylation or spindle formation. Furthermore, we show that the CPC is required earlier in cytokinesis than previously thought; cells lacking Aust do not initiate central spindle formation, accumulate anillin or actin at the cell equator, or undergo equatorial constriction.