Chromosomes trapped in micronuclei are liable to segregation errors.


DNA in micronuclei is likely to get damaged. When shattered DNA from micronuclei gets reincorporated into the primary nucleus, aberrant rearrangements can take place, a phenomenon referred to as chromothripsis. Here, we investigated how chromatids from micronuclei act in subsequent divisions and how this affects their fate. We observed that the majority of chromatids derived from micronuclei fail to establish a proper kinetochore in mitosis, which is associated with problems in chromosome alignment, segregation and spindle assembly checkpoint activation. Remarkably, we found that, upon their formation, micronuclei already display decreased levels of important kinetochore assembly factors. Importantly, these defects favour the exclusion of the micronucleus over the reintegration into the primary nucleus over several divisions. Interestingly, the defects observed in micronuclei are likely overcome once micronuclei are reincorporated into the primary nuclei, as they further propagate normally. We conclude that the formation of a separate small nuclear entity represents a mechanism for the cell to delay the stable propagation of excess chromosome(s) and/or damaged DNA, by inducing kinetochore defects.

More about this publication

Journal of cell science
  • Volume 131
  • Issue nr. 13
  • Publication date 09-07-2018

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