Australin: A chromosomal passenger protein required specifically for Drosophila melanogaster male meiosis

Shan Gao, Maria Grazia Giansanti, Graham J. Buttrick, Sharada Ramasubramanyan, Adam Auton, Maurizio Gatti, James G. Wakefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), which is composed of conserved proteins aurora B, inner centromere protein (INCENP), survivin, and Borealin/ DASRA, localizes to chromatin, kinetochores, microtubules, and the cell cortex in a cell cycle-dependent manner. The CPC is required for multiple aspects of cell division. Here we find that Drosophila melanogaster encodes two Borealin paralogues, Borealin-related (Borr) and Australin (Aust). Although Borr is a passenger in all mitotic tissues studied, it is specifically replaced by Aust for the two male meiotic divisions. We analyzed aust mutant spermatocytes to assess the effects of fully inactivating the Aust-dependent functions of the CPC. Our results indicate that Aust is required for sister chromatid cohesion, recruitment of the CPC to kinetochores, and chromosome alignment and segregation but not for meiotic histone phosphorylation or spindle formation. Furthermore, we show that the CPC is required earlier in cytokinesis than previously thought; cells lacking Aust do not initiate central spindle formation, accumulate anillin or actin at the cell equator, or undergo equatorial constriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-535
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 11 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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