Functional analysis of DdINCENP, a chromosomal passenger protein, in Dictyostelium
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Dictyostelium DdINCENP is a chromosomal passenger protein associated with centromeres, the spindle midzone and poles during mitosis and the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Disruption of the single DdINCENP gene revealed important roles for this protein in mitosis and cytokinesis. DdINCENP null cells lack a robust spindle midzone and are hypersensitive to microtubule depolymerizing drugs suggesting that their spindles may not be stable. Furthermore DdCP224, a protein homologous to the microtubule-stabilizing protein TOGp/XMAP215, was absent from the spindle midzone of DdINCENP null cells. Overexpression of DdCP224 rescued the weak spindle midzone defect of DdINCENP null cells. While not required for the localization of the myosin II contractile ring and subsequent formation of a cleavage furrow, DdINCENP is important for the abscission of daughter cells at the end of cytokinesis. The localization of DdINCENP at the cleavage furrow is modulated by myosin II. Loss of myosin II restricted the localization of DdINCENP to a narrow zone at the cleavage furrow. Kif12, a homolog of mitotic kinesin like protein (MKLP), was essential for relocalization of DdINCENP from the central spindle to the cleavage furrow. Furthermore, Kif12 was also localized at the cortex of the cleavage furrow and its localization during cytokinesis closely resembled that of DdINCENP, suggesting a possible interaction between them. The correct localization of DdINCENP during cytokinesis also required its N-terminal sequence. DdINCENP1-500 was found at the cleavage furrow and interacted with the actin cytoskeleton. Domain analysis of DdINCENP also revealed that its DdINCENP1-500 was sufficient to rescue the weak spindle defect of DdINCENP null cells.