School of BioSciences - Research Publications

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    Ia antigenic specificities are oligosaccharide in nature: hapten-inhibition studies.
    McKenzie, IF ; Clarke, A ; Parish, CR (Rockefeller University Press, 1977-04-01)
    We have previously reported that the Ia specificities, coded for by the I region within the H-2 complex, appear to consist predominantly of carbohydrate. This conclusion was reached by examining low molecular weight Ia-bearing oligosacharides isolated from mouse serum. We now report hapten-inhibition studies which indicate that the binding of both allogeneic and xenogeneic anti-Ia antibodies to the Ia glycoproteins found predominantly on B lymphocytes can be specifically inhibited by certain free sugars. Both inhibition assays revealed that the specificity for the following Ia antigens resides predominantly in the following sugars: (a) Ia.1: N-acetyl-D-mannosamine or related sugars; (b) Ia.3: alpha-D-galactose and related sugars; (c) Ia.7: L-fucose; and (d) Ia.15: N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. It seems likely that these sugars are found at the terminal nonreducing ends of the carbohydrate portion of the Ia-bearing glycoproteins present in the lymphocyte membrane. In contrast, several public and private H-2 antigenic specificities did not appear to be sugar defined. These studies imply that at least some of the Ia genes from both the I-A and I-C subregions of the I region code for glycosyl transferases which modify oligosaccharide structure and impart specificity to the Ia antigens by alteration of their terminal sugar residues.
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    BASAL BODY REORIENTATION MEDIATED BY A CA-2+-MODULATED CONTRACTILE PROTEIN
    MCFADDEN, GI ; SCHULZE, D ; SUREK, B ; SALISBURY, JL ; MELKONIAN, M (ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 1987-08-01)
    A rapid, Ca2+-dependent change in the angle between basal bodies (up to 180 degrees) is associated with light-induced reversal of swimming direction (the "photophobic" response) in a number of flagellated green algae. In isolated, detergent-extracted, reactivated flagellar apparatus complexes of Spermatozopsis similis, axonemal beat form conversion to the symmetrical/undulating flagellar pattern and basal body reorientation (from the antiparallel to the parallel configuration) are simultaneously induced at greater than or equal to 10(-7) M Ca2+. Basal body reorientation, however, is independent of flagellar beating since it is induced at greater than or equal to 10(-7) M Ca2+ when flagellar beating is inhibited (i.e., in the presence of 1 microM orthovanadate in reactivation solutions; in the absence of ATP or dithiothreitol in isolation and reactivation solutions), or when axonemes are mechanically removed from flagellar apparatuses. Although frequent axonemal beat form reversals were induced by varying the Ca2+ concentration, antiparallel basal body configuration could not be restored in isolated flagellar apparatuses. Observations of the photophobic response in vivo indicate that even though the flagella resume the asymmetric, breaststroke beat form 1-2 s after photostimulation, antiparallel basal body configuration is not restored until a few minutes later. Using an antibody generated against the 20-kD Ca2+-modulated contractile protein of striated flagellar roots of Tetraselmis striata (Salisbury, J. L., A. Baron, B. Surek, and M. Melkonian, 1984, J. Cell Biol., 99:962-970), we have found the distal connecting fiber of Spermatozopsis similis to be immunoreactive by indirect immunofluorescence and immunogold electron microscopy. Electrophoretic and immunoblot analysis indicates that the antigen of S. similis flagellar apparatuses consists, like the Tetraselmis protein, of two acidic isoforms of 20 kD. We conclude that the distal basal body connecting fiber is a contractile organelle and reorients basal bodies during the photophobic response in certain flagellated green algae.
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    Ultraviolet microbeam irradiations of mitotic diatoms: investigation of spindle elongation.
    Leslie, RJ ; Pickett-Heaps, JD (Rockefeller University Press, 1983-02)
    Our simple instrumentation for generating a UV-microbeam is described UV microbeam irradiations of the central spindle in the pennate diatom Hantzschia amphioxys have been examined through correlated birefringence light microscopy and TEM. A precise correlation between the region of reduced birefringence and the UV-induced lesion in the microtubules (MTs) of the central spindle is demonstrated. The UV beam appears to dissociate MTs, as MT fragments were rarely encountered. The forces associated with metaphase and anaphase spindles have been studied via localized UV-microbeam irradiation of the central spindle. These spindles were found to be subjected to compressional forces, presumably exerted by stretched or contracting chromosomes. Comparisons are made with the results of other writers. These compressional forces caused the poles of a severed anaphase spindle to move toward each other and the center of the cell. As these poles moved centrally, the larger of the two postirradiational central spindle remnants elongated with a concomitant decrease in the length of the overlap. Metaphase spindles, in contrast, did not elongate nor lose their overlap region. Our interpretation is that the force for anaphase spindle elongation in Hantzschia is generated between half-spindles in the region of MT overlap.
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    UV microbeam irradiations of the mitotic spindle. II. Spindle fiber dynamics and force production.
    Spurck, TP ; Stonington, OG ; Snyder, JA ; Pickett-Heaps, JD ; Bajer, A ; Mole-Bajer, J (Rockefeller University Press, 1990-10)
    Metaphase and anaphase spindles in cultured newt and PtK1 cells were irradiated with a UV microbeam (285 nM), creating areas of reduced birefringence (ARBs) in 3 s that selectively either severed a few fibers or cut across the half spindle. In either case, the birefringence at the polewards edge of the ARB rapidly faded polewards, while it remained fairly constant at the other, kinetochore edge. Shorter astral fibers, however, remained present in the enlarged ARB; presumably these had not been cut by the irradiation. After this enlargement of the ARB, metaphase spindles recovered rapidly as the detached pole moved back towards the chromosomes, reestablishing spindle fibers as the ARB closed; this happened when the ARB cut a few fibers or across the entire half spindle. We never detected elongation of the cut kinetochore fibers. Rather, astral fibers growing from the pole appeared to bridge and then close the ARB, just before the movement of the pole toward the chromosomes. When a second irradiation was directed into the closing ARB, the polewards movement again stopped before it restarted. In all metaphase cells, once the pole had reestablished connection with the chromosomes, the unirradiated half spindle then also shortened to create a smaller symmetrical spindle capable of normal anaphase later. Anaphase cells did not recover this way; the severed pole remained detached but the chromosomes continued a modified form of movement, clumping into a telophase-like group. The results are discussed in terms of controls operating on spindle microtubule stability and mechanisms of mitotic force generation.
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    Cell division in two large pennate diatoms Hantzschia and Nitzschia III. A new proposal for kinetochore function during prometaphase.
    Tippit, DH ; Pickett-Heaps, JD ; Leslie, R (Rockefeller University Press, 1980-08)
    Prometaphase in two large species of diatoms is examined, using the following techniques: (a) time-lapse cinematography of chromosome movements in vivo; (b) electron microscopy of corresponding stages: (c) reconstruction of the microtubules (MTs) in the kinetochore fiber of chromosomes attached to the spindle. In vivo, the chromosomes independently commence oscillations back and forth to one pole. The kinetochore is usually at the leading edge of such chromosome movements; a variable time later both kinetochores undergo such oscillations but toward opposite poles and soon stretch poleward to establish stable bipolar attachment. Electron microscopy of early prometaphase shows that the kinetochores usually laterally associate with MTs that have one end attached to the spindle pole. At late prometaphase, most chromosomes are fully attached to the spindle, but the kinetochores on unattached chromosomes are bare of MTs. Reconstruction of the kinetochore fiber demonstrates that most of its MTs (96%) extend past the kinetochore and are thus apparently not nucleated there. At least one MT terminates at each kinetochore analyzed. Our interpretation is that the conventional view of kinetochore function cannot apply to diatoms. The kinetochore fiber in diatoms appears to be primarily composed of MTs from the poles, in contrast to the conventional view that many MTs of the kinetochore fiber are nucleated by the kinetochore. Similarly, chromosomes appear to initially orient their kinetochores to opposite poles by moving along MTs attached to the poles, instead of orientation effected by kinetochore MTs laterally associating with other MTs in the spindle. The function of the kinetochore in diatoms and other cell types is discussed.
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    On the mechanism of anaphase spindle elongation in Diatoma vulgare.
    McDonald, K ; Pickett-Heaps, JD ; McIntosh, JR ; Tippit, DH (Rockefeller University Press, 1977-08)
    Central spindles from five dividing cells (one metaphase, three anaphase, and one telophase) of Diatoma vulgare were reconstructed from serial sections. Each spindle is made up of two half-spindles that are composed almost entirely of polar microtubules. A small percentage of continuous microtubules and free microtubules were present in every stage except telophase. The half-spindles interdigitate at the midregion of the central spindle, forming a zone of overlap where the microtubules from one pole intermingle with those of the other. At metaphase the overlap zone is fairly extensive, but as elongation proceeds, the spindle poles move apart and the length of the overlap decreases because fewer microtubules are sufficiently long to reach from the pole to the zone of interdigitation. At telophase, only a few tubules are long enough to overlap at the midregion. Concurrent with the decrease in the length of the overlap zone is an increase in the staining density of the intermicrotubule matrix at the same region. These changes in morphology can most easily be explained by assuming zone mechanochemical interaction between microtubules in the overlap zone which results in a sliding apart of the two half-spindles.
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    Analysis of the distribution of spindle microtubules in the diatom Fragilaria.
    Tippit, DH ; Schulz, D ; Pickett-Heaps, JD (Rockefeller University Press, 1978-12)
    The spindle of the colonial diatom Fragilaria contains two distinct sets of spindle microtubules (MTs): (a) MTs comprising the central spindle, which is composed of two half-spindles interdigitated to form a region of "overlap"; (b) MTs which radiate laterally from the poles. The central spindles from 28 cells are reconstructed by tracking each MT of the central spindle through consecutive serial sections. Because the colonies of Fragilaria are flat ribbons of contiguous cells (clones), it is possible, by using single ribbons of cells, to compare reconstructed spindles at different mitotic stages with minimal intercellular variability. From these reconstructions we have determined: (a) the changes in distribution of MTs along the spindle during mitosis; (b) the change in the total number of MTs during mitosis; (c) the length of each MT (measured by the number of sections each traverses) at different mitotic stages; (d) the frequency of different classes of MTs (i.e., free, continuous, etc.); (e) the spatial arrangement of MTs from opposite poles in the overlap; (f) the approximate number of MTs, separate from the central spindle, which radiate from each spindle pole. From longitudinal sections of the central spindle, the lengths of the whole spindle, half-spindle, and overlap were measured from 80 cells at different mitotic stages. Numerous sources of error may create inaccuracies in these measurements; these problems are discussed. The central spindle at prophase consists predominantly of continuous MTs (pole to pole). Between late prophase and prometaphase, spindle length increases, and the spindle is transformed into two half-spindles (mainly polar MTs) interdigitated to form the overlap. At late anaphase-telophase, the overlap decreases concurrent with spindle elongation. Our interpretation is that the MTs of the central spindle slide past one another at both late prophase and late anaphase. These changes in MT distribution have the effect of elongating the spindle and are not involved in the poleward movement of the chromosomes. Some aspects of tracking spindle MTs, the interaction of MTs in the overlap, formation of the prophase spindle, and our interpretation of rearrangements of MTs, are discussed.
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    The effects of isopropyl N-phenyl carbamate on the green alga Oedogonium cardiacum. I. Cell division.
    Coss, RA ; Pickett-Heaps, JD (Rockefeller University Press, 1974-10)
    Cell division in vegetative filaments of the green alga Oedogonium cardiacum is presented as an experimental system. We report on how we have used this system to study the effects of isopropyl N-phenylcarbamate (IPC) on the mitotic apparatus and on the phycoplast, a planar array of cytokinetic microtubules. Polymerization of microtubules was prevented when filaments, synchronized by a light/dark regime and chilled (2 degrees C) while in metaphase or just before phycoplast formation, were exposed to 5.5 x 10(-4) M IPC and then returned to room temperature. Spindles reformed or phycoplasts formed when these filaments were transferred to growth medium free of IPC. However, the orientation of both microtubular systems was disturbed: the mitotic apparatus often contained three poles, frequently forming three daughter nuclei upon karyokinesis; the phycoplast was often stellate rather than planar, and it sometimes was displaced to the side of both daughter nuclei, resulting in a binucleate and an anucleate cell upon cytokinesis. Our results suggest that IPC (a) prevents the assembly of microtubules, (b) increases the number of functional polar bodies, and (c) affects the orientation of microtubules in O. cardiacum. High voltage (1,000 kV) electron microscopy of 0.5-microm thick sections allowed us to visualize the polar structures, which were not discernible in thin sections.
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    Organization of spindle microtubules in Ochromonas danica.
    Tippit, DH ; Pillus, L ; Pickett-Heaps, J (Rockefeller University Press, 1980-12)
    The entire framework of microtubules (MTs) in the mitotic apparatus of Ochromonas danica is reconstructed (except at the spindle poles) from transverse serial sections. Eleven spindles were sectioned and used for numerical data, but only four were reconstructed: a metaphase, an early anaphase, a late anaphase, and telophase. Four major classes of MTs are observed: (a) free MTs (MTs not attached to either pole); (b) interdigitated MTs (MTs attached to one pole which laterally associate with MTs from the opposite pole); (c) polar MTs (MTs attached to one pole); (d) kinetochore MTs (kMTs). Pole-to-pole MTs are rare and may be caused by tracking errors. During anaphase, the kMTs, free MTs, and polar MTs shorten until most disappear, while interdigitated MTs lengthen. In the four reconstructed spindles, the number of MTs decreases between early anaphase and telophase from 881 to 285, while their average length increases from 1.66 to 4.98 micron. The total length of all the MTs in the spindle (placed end to end) remains at 1.42 +/- 0.04 mm between these stages. At late anaphase and telophase the spindle is comprised mainly of groups of interdigitated MTs. Such MTs from opposite poles form a region of overlap in the middle of the spindle. During spindle elongation (separation of the poles), the length of the overlap region does not decrease. These results are compatible with theories that suggest that MTs directly provide the force that elongates the spindle, either by MT polymerization alone or by MT sliding with concomitant MT polymerization.
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    Chromosome motion and the spindle matrix.
    Pickett-Heaps, J ; Spurck, T ; Tippit, D (Rockefeller University Press, 1984-07)