The long-term goal of this grant is to elucidate the molecules and mechanisms that sustain the accuracy of chromosome segregation. Such information is crucial for maintaining and improving human health, as inaccurate segregation causes aneuploidy and contributes to disorders like Down Syndrome and cancer. To facilitate the dissection of this and other complex biological processes, our laboratory has developed novel methods for precisely deleting or modifying genes in human somatic cells via homologous recombination. By combining these methods with high-resolution microscopy and chemical genetics, we have identified novel functions and regulation of the protein kinases Plk1 (Polo-like kinase 1) and Mps1, which are essential regulators of mitosis and cell division in all eukaryotes. Based on our preliminary findings, three aims are proposed for the next grant period: (1) to elucidate the effectors and mechanism of Plk1-dependent centrosome maturation;(2) to test Mps1's contribution to the cytosolic and kinetochore-dependent branches of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC);and (3) to identify the substrates of Mps1 that mediate the kinase's functions in SAC enforcement and chromosome bi-orientation. These studies will illuminate the mechanisms that regulate and sustain the high fidelity of chromosome segregation in humans. Such information is crucial for understanding how normal cells avoid aneuploidy and its adverse impacts on human health, and for developing novel treatments that specifically target aneuploidy in the context of disease.

Public Health Relevance

Errors in chromosome segregation result in aneuploidy, an abnormal genetic configuration strongly associated with human disease, including Down Syndrome and cancer. There is a strong need to elucidate how chromosome segregation is controlled at the molecular level, both to reduce the likelihood of aneuploidy in normal cells, and to exploit aneuploidy as an Achilles heel in cancer cells. During the next grant period we focus specifically on the roles of two master kinases - Plk1 and Mps1 - in human chromosome segregation. As these kinases are overproduced in tumors and being evaluated as targets for anti-neoplastic therapy, our studies have strong relevance to ongoing efforts to expand and improve the cancer pharmacopeia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Cellular Signaling and Regulatory Systems Study Section (CSRS)
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Hamlet, Michelle R
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Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research
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Combes, Guillaume; Barysz, Helena; Garand, Chantal et al. (2018) Mps1 Phosphorylates Its N-Terminal Extension to Relieve Autoinhibition and Activate the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint. Curr Biol 28:872-883.e5
Maciejowski, John; Drechsler, Hauke; Grundner-Culemann, Kathrin et al. (2017) Mps1 Regulates Kinetochore-Microtubule Attachment Stability via the Ska Complex to Ensure Error-Free Chromosome Segregation. Dev Cell 41:143-156.e6
Jones, Mathew J K; Jallepalli, Prasad V (2016) Engineering and Functional Analysis of Mitotic Kinases Through Chemical Genetics. Methods Mol Biol 1413:349-63
Kim, Minhee; O'Rourke, Brian P; Soni, Rajesh Kumar et al. (2016) Promotion and Suppression of Centriole Duplication Are Catalytically Coupled through PLK4 to Ensure Centriole Homeostasis. Cell Rep 16:1195-1203
Pagan, Julia K; Marzio, Antonio; Jones, Mathew J K et al. (2015) Degradation of Cep68 and PCNT cleavage mediate Cep215 removal from the PCM to allow centriole separation, disengagement and licensing. Nat Cell Biol 17:31-43
Rahman, Sadia; Jones, Mathew J K; Jallepalli, Prasad V (2015) Cohesin recruits the Esco1 acetyltransferase genome wide to repress transcription and promote cohesion in somatic cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:11270-5
Chen, Yu-Hung; Jones, Mathew J K; Yin, Yandong et al. (2015) ATR-mediated phosphorylation of FANCI regulates dormant origin firing in response to replication stress. Mol Cell 58:323-38
Rodriguez-Bravo, Veronica; Maciejowski, John; Corona, Jennifer et al. (2014) Nuclear pores protect genome integrity by assembling a premitotic and Mad1-dependent anaphase inhibitor. Cell 156:1017-31
Jones, Mathew J K; Jallepalli, Prasad V (2012) Chromothripsis: chromosomes in crisis. Dev Cell 23:908-17
Oppermann, Felix S; Grundner-Culemann, Kathrin; Kumar, Chanchal et al. (2012) Combination of chemical genetics and phosphoproteomics for kinase signaling analysis enables confident identification of cellular downstream targets. Mol Cell Proteomics 11:O111.012351

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