Most information about the roles of the adenomatous polyposis coli protein (APC) and its binding partner EB1 in mitotic cells has come from siRNA studies. These suggest functions in chromosomal segregation and spindle positioning whose loss might contribute to tumourigenesis in cancers initiated by APC mutation. However, siRNA-based approaches have drawbacks associated with the time taken to achieve significant expression knockdown and the pleiotropic effects of EB1 and APC gene knockdown. Here we describe the effects of microinjecting APC- or EB1- specific monoclonal antibodies and a dominant-negative EB1 protein fragment into mammalian mitotic cells. The phenotypes observed were consistent with the roles proposed for EB1 and APC in chromosomal segregation in previous work. However, EB1 antibody injection also revealed two novel mitotic phenotypes, anaphase-specific cortical blebbing and asymmetric spindle pole movement. The daughters of microinjected cells displayed inequalities in microtubule content, with the greatest differences seen in the products of mitoses that showed the severest asymmetry in spindle pole movement. Daughters that inherited the least mobile pole contained the fewest microtubules, consistent with a role for EB1 in processes that promote equality of astral microtubule function at both poles in a spindle. We propose that these novel phenotypes represent APC-independent roles for EB1 in spindle pole function and the regulation of cortical contractility in the later stages of mitosis. Our work confirms that EB1 and APC have important mitotic roles, the loss of which could contribute to CIN in colorectal tumour cells.
|Publication status||Published - 21 Dec 2011|