Separase is a capase family protease that is required for the release of sister chromatid cohesion during meiosis and mitosis. Proteolytic cleavage of the a-kleisin subunit of the cohesin complex at the metaphase-to-anaphase transition is essential for the proper segregation of chromosomes. In addition to its highly conserved role in cleaving the a-kleisin subunit, separase appears to have acquired additional diverse activities in some organisms, including involvement in mitotic and meiotic anaphase spindle assembly and elongation, interphase spindle pole body positioning, and epithelial cell reorganization. Results from the characterization of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) separase (ESP) demonstrated that meiotic expression of ESP RNA interference blocked the proper removal of cohesin from chromosomes and resulted in the presence of a mixture of fragmented chromosomes and intact bivalents. The presence of large numbers of intact bivalents raised the possibility that separase may also have multiple roles in Arabidopsis. In this report, we show that meiotic expression of ESP RNA interference blocks the removal of cohesin during both meiosis I and II, results in alterations in nonhomologous centromere association, disrupts the radial microtubule system after telophase II, and affects the proper establishment of nuclear cytoplasmic domains, resulting in the formation of multinucleate microspores.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science