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Title: Role of the Kinases NEK6, NEK7 and NEK9 in the Regulation of the Centrosome Cycle
Author: Sdelci, Sara
Director: Roig Amorós, Joan
Keywords: Cicle cel·lular
Ciclo celular
Cell cycle
Issue Date: 13-Dec-2012
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] This thesis project is focused on the study of the signaling module formed by the NIMA-related protein Nek6, Nek7, and Nek9 and their function during early mitosis, with particular interest in centrosome separation and maturation. Nek9/Nercc1 was identified by Dr. Joan Roig. Nek9 is expressed in all cell lines and tissues studied is inactive during interphase while during mitosis is activated through phosphorylation by Plk1 which is in fact able to bind Nek9 and subsequently phosphorylates Nek9 on its activation loop. During mitosis Nek6 and Nek7 bind the C-terminal of Nek9. Once active, Nek9 can phosphorylate Nek6 and Nek7, thus activating them. Active Nek9 localizes at centrosome, suggesting that Nek9/Nek6-7 has important functions in the organization of microtubules during cell division. Confirming this idea, it has been shown that the microinjection of anti-Nek9 module induces arrest in prometaphase with disorganized spindle structures and misaligned chromosomes, or leads to abnormal mitosis resulting in aneuploidy. In the same direction, interference with the function of Nek7 or Nek6 leads to abnormal mitotic progression and spindle formation. We described how the Nek9/Nek6-7 module could provide a link connecting Plk1 and Eg5 in the context of centrosome separation. we analyzed the effects of Plk1, Eg5, Nek9, Nek6 or Nek7 down-regulation by RNAi on the extent of separation of duplicated centrosomes in prophase cells and we observed how this downregulation was affecting centrosome separation. We determine whether the activation of Nek9 or Nek6 could induce centrosome separation trasfecting cells with the active form of these two kinases; a considerable amount of cells that were in interphase shown separate centrosome demonstrating that Nek9/Nek6 are sufficient to induce centrosome separation. To test whether active Nek9 and Nek6 exerted their effect through the regulation of Eg5 we simultaneously transfected the cells with Eg5 siRNAs and we completely lost the centrosome separation described above. We demonstrated by immunofluorescence that the key event during centrosome separation was the recruitment of Eg5 at centrosomes and that the down-regulation of Plk1, Nek6, Nek7 or Nek9 resulted in prophase cells with unseparated centrosomes because Eg5 was not properly recruited. To prove whether the phosphorylation on Ser-1033 controls the accumulation of Eg5 to centrosomes and centrosome separation during early mitosis we transfected cells with wild type Eg5 or Eg5 S1033A; the wild type form of the kinesin was able to localize at centrosome and rescue the normal phenotype while Eg5 S1033A was not able to localize and resulted in cells delayed in mitosis. Plk1, the Nek9 activator, is involved in the regulation of centrosome maturation during early mitosis. Centrosome maturation refers to the process through which centrosomes increase size and microtubule nucleation activity and requires the accumulation of γ-TuRC complexes at centrosome. This recruitment depends on Nedd1 that acts as γ-Tubulin targeting factor. Plk1 depletion prevents accumulation of Nedd1 at centrosome. Our experiments show the importance of Nek9 in the regulation of centrosome maturation downstream of Plk1. Depletion of Nek9 by siRNA determined a decrease of γ-Tubulin and Nedd1 at centrosome. Further we investigated the upstream role of Plk1 depleting Plk1 and trasfecting active Nek9 and it was able to rescue the normal phenotype. Nek9 can interact with Nedd1 during mitosis and phosphorylates it provoking its accumulation at centrosome. The no-phosphorylable form of Nedd1 was not able to accumulate at centrosome and support the accumulation of γ-Tubulin there, determining a delay of the cells in prometaphase. Our results show that Nek9 is the link between Plk1 activity and the recruitment of Nedd1 to the centrosome and that the pathway formed by Plk1/Nek9/Nedd1 can be a key element in the control of mitotic centrosome maturation.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular (Farmàcia)

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