Scientific article
Open access

Mitotic chromosome condensation requires phosphorylation of the centromeric protein KNL-2 in C. elegans

Published inJournal of cell science, vol. 134, no. 23, jcs259088
Publication date2021-12-01
First online date2021-12-02

Centromeres are chromosomal regions that serve as sites for kinetochore formation and microtubule attachment, processes that are essential for chromosome segregation during mitosis. Centromeres are almost universally defined by the histone variant CENP-A. In the holocentric nematode C. elegans, CENP-A deposition depends on the loading factor KNL-2. Depletion of either CENP-A or KNL-2 results in defects in centromere maintenance, chromosome condensation and kinetochore formation, leading to chromosome segregation failure. Here, we show that KNL-2 is phosphorylated by CDK-1 in vitro, and that mutation of three C-terminal phosphorylation sites causes chromosome segregation defects and an increase in embryonic lethality. In strains expressing phosphodeficient KNL-2, CENP-A and kinetochore proteins are properly localised, indicating that the role of KNL-2 in centromere maintenance is not affected. Instead, the mutant embryos exhibit reduced mitotic levels of condensin II on chromosomes and significant chromosome condensation impairment. Our findings separate the functions of KNL-2 in CENP-A loading and chromosome condensation, and demonstrate that KNL-2 phosphorylation regulates the cooperation between centromeric regions and the condensation machinery in C. elegans.

  • C. elegans
  • Centromere
  • Chromosome condensation
  • Condensin II
  • KNL-2
Citation (ISO format)
WENDA, Joanna et al. Mitotic chromosome condensation requires phosphorylation of the centromeric protein KNL-2 in<i> C. elegans</i>. In: Journal of cell science, 2021, vol. 134, n° 23, p. jcs259088. doi: 10.1242/jcs.259088
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0021-9533

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